A film by Fernando Pérez. Cuba/Spain, 2003, 80 min. Minimal dialogue with English subtitles.
Subjects: Latin American Studies, Cuba, Political Studies, Film Studies.
A poetic homage to the city of Havana, this breathtaking film portrays Cuba’s capital as no other art form has before. A loving and melancholic picture over a 24 hour period of life of this city, the film follows ten ordinary Habaneros as they go about their daily routine. There is no dialogue and no need for it either; music and natural sound accompany the multiplicity of images that weave a unique and intimate picture of a city full of contradictions and contrasts, a city of accomplished and frustrated dreams.
Edited like a musical composition, Suite Habana oscillates between documentary and fiction. The ten characters range from ages 10 to 97, and represent the diversity of groups that form the city’s social fabric. Each of them follows a narrative, and we follow their transformations as the workday ends and they prepare themselves to welcome the night, which brings about the daily renewal of this exceptional and fascinating city.
Winner, Grand Coral for Best Film, Havana Film Festival 2003
Winner, SIGNIS Award, San Sebastian International Film Festival 2003
Winner, Best Director, Best Music and Best Sound, Havana Film Festival 2003
Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Havana Film Festival 2003
Nominated for Golden Star, Marrakech International Film Festival 2003
Nominated for Best Documentary, Goya Awards 2004
Winner, Special Jury Award, Gramado Film Festival 2004
Nominated for Golden India Catalina - Cartagena Film Festival 2004
“A lyrical, meticulously-crafted and unexpectedly melancholy homage to the battered but resilient inhabitants of a battered but resilient city... The surprisingly watchable delight strikes universal chords... "Suite" is a valuable addition to Cuba's cinematic canon.” — Variety
“[Suite Habana’s] style not only corresponds with its setting but also captures its essence... a meticulously complete picture of a city caught between decay and reconstruction.” — Slant Magazine