Chico y Rita

In non-Pope related-news, almost a year ago Val posted this short clip from what was then an upcoming movie:

Last night I got to see the film which is entitled Chico y Rita. It’s a beautiful animated feature film about a Cuban jazz pianist, Chico and his love interest, Rita who is a singer.

From the Chico y Rita website:

Cuba, 1948. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey – in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero – brings heartache and torment. From Havana to New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas, two passionate individuals battle impossible odds to unite in music and love.

The movie is wonderfully illustrated. The soundtrack is by Bebo Valdez and the music is a blend of standards from the era. I can’t say enough about this film which was nominated for an Oscar for Animated Feature.

Because this was a Spanish production, as I sat in the theater I got drawn into the story but always expecting there to be something objectionable about the way castroite revolution was portrayed. I was wrong. If anything the film is critical of the revolution though not overtly so. We see Cuba in its splendor during the 40s and 50s and then we see crumbling present day Cuba. We see how musicians like Chico were forced into retirement because certain forms of music were suppressed by the castro dictatorship because they were “imperialist.”

Chico y Rita is showing at the Coral Gables Art Cinema. Go see it. You won’t be disappointed. I leave you with the full trailer.