Movie Review: Chico Y Rita/Una Noche

As a not to bore anyone to death, this is not an overall review of the films themselves. Therefore it is more of a translation of what I got out of watching them. I find it much more adaptive to open-minded conversations than just whether or not someone liked or disliked based on their own opinions.

Originally this idea came from taking a Spanish course months ago and my professor, at the time, wanted us to see what we got out of it by comparing it to the hispanic world.

ENJOY!




UNA NOCHE POR LUCY MULLOY


This film touches on a small part of immigration in Cuba, which is a very predominate subject here in the United States. Based on a true story, it is just one of thousands being told yet for some reason they all seem to be hidden. Although I've never been to Cuba myself, Mulloy did a wonderful job of capturing poverty, which makes one become more appreciative of the life that they live. One instance in particular that caught my attention was when they boy looses his shoes and he had to steal his father's because he didn't own, nor could afford, another pair. Also, Mulloy did well to showcase the personal battles that lead up to wanting to make the journey to the United States. Some for work, some for medicine, but almost all just wanted a better life period. What baffles me most is that the ones in control, like the police in the film, are part of the problem. One of the boys in the film risked going to jail just to obtain medicine for his mother. Apparently, from my understanding, certain types of medical aids were a sign that one was planning to flee the country. Unfortunately, this story does not have a happy ending; however, it represents an issue that needs a constant eye.



CHICO Y RITA


Jazz is one of the most diverse genres and has played a significant factor in the Hispanic and Latin culture. It tells a story and brings life into every situation both good and bad and whether one is rich or poor. More importantly, it has the power to influence others which was well shown throughout history.

What most attracted me about this animated film is the amount of influence cuba had on American Jazz music around the 1940's and 1950's. Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Chano Pozo were among the artists featured in this film that have significantly contributed to the Afro-Cuban elements particularly in Jazz and Salsa. Although ultimately a love story, the main characters experience the highs and lows of the music industry while Cuba, itself, undergoes massive changes. Moreover, the film touches the time period when Castro came into power. The music highlights expression of the country, not just as a means of fun or work for some; which truly tells the entire story. When the couple reached New York City, Bepop was mainstream yet you find Gillespie, Parker, and Pozo performing Afro-Latin styles in an underground venue. There is a pattern with the Cuban artists wanting to expand into American styles and while the American artists wanted to refer back to their roots. Personally I found that to be an important underlining statement throughout this film.

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