Programmed by Caroline Châtelet
In Havana’s deaf-mute community, Chino and his family struggle to make ends meet. When Chino encounters a Mexican male tourist who falls in love with him, he and his wife discuss the possibility of him fleeing to Mexico in order to make a better living and send money back to the family in Cuba.
Chino and Anaylis, a couple of young deaf-mute Cuban parents, eke out a living, with Chino doing endless odd jobs and prostituting himself with tourists to provide for his family. His encounter with José, a Mexican on holiday, seems to offer them the chance to make a go of things. Filmed in direct cinema over almost three years, “Habana Muda” traces their encounters as well as the various ways they dream up for Chino to get to Mexico. With no moral judgment and a great deal of tact, Éric Brach portrays the complexity and beauty of the relationships that are forged. Although money obviously comes into play, peppering all the exchanges, everyone seems make the best of this strange love triangle where financial interests are intertwined with tenderness and tolerance. But although the ambivalence of feelings is a universal fact, the film reminds us from the very beginning with its title ("Mute Havana") that it’s a relationship in which money and ableism lead to dependency.
Journalist and critic