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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2015. 63rd Edition  > Festival Diary > Life on the mean streets of Havana
Life on the mean streets of Havana
Thursday, September 24th, 2015

A constant feature of Agustí Villaronga’s films have been portrayals of survivors forced to keep their heads above water in the middle of extreme problems in a hostile setting, which may be an orphanage in interwar Europe El niño de la luna, a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients in 1950s Mallorca, El mar, or rural Catalonia after the Spanish Civil War in the award-winning Pa negre. Perhaps this is what encouraged the producer Maria Luisa Matienzo to send the director a copy of the novel El Rey de La Habana by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, as she thought that the story of a teenager struggling to survive on the streets of 1990s Havana after escaping from a reformatory had the potential to make a good film.

The director said that he had been interested in shooting the film because it offered the chance to provide a social fresco of Cuba in the difficult “Special period” after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

 
Agustí Villaronga and the Cuban actors of his film.
Agustí Villaronga and the Cuban actors of his film.

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