I watched a screening of the new film VIVA, which opens on April 29th, and experienced an array of emotions. The powerful film made me laugh and cry. At times I also found myself angered and other times amused. As a Latino, I connected with the cultural aspects of the movie, which is set in the slums of Havana, Cuba. I also related to the father/son dynamic and the personal search to find oneself.
VIVA stars Héctor Medina as Jesus, a young hairdresser working at a Havana nightclub that showcases drag performers, who dreams of being a performer himself. His father then re-enters his life causing chaos and the two struggle to understand and accept each other.
I enjoyed the development of characters in the film and the even pace of the movie, which beautifully showcases the majestic island nation. The main character’s journey is the focal point of the film and Medina does an outstanding job as Jesus. I highly recommend this film, which is entirely in Spanish with English subtitles.