I finally got around to seeing Before Night Falls this weekend. It’s a lovely story about the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas and also gives another view to life under Castro. What really kept my attention was the voice of Javier Bardem reciting the poetic words of Arenas. The imagery from the words and not the cinematography itself had greater effect for me. Lines such as:
Cubans are defined by noise, it’s their nature, they need to bother others, they can neither enjoy or suffer in silence
did more to introduce me to the Cubans than any Lonely Planet guide. Still, I’m not knocking some of the beautiful cinematography, such as the prison scene with hundreds of balls of soap, tied with long strings, spinning from the cages that the prisoners were kept in. It seems Arenas survived in there by writing letters for the prisoners in return for soap and cigarettes. In the film a transvestite played by Johnny Depp (with all the usual Depp flare) smuggled a novel he wrote out but apparently that did not happen in realitywhere seems they caught him trying to smuggle out his writings.
Shame I took 6 years to get round to seeing this movie as it is well worth a view and I’m annoyed now that I recently returned “The Sea Inside” without watching it. Anyway, I recommend.
01:24:44 Yes, it’s my book, now it’s yours.
01:25:20 Why do you write?
01:25:35 Could you teach me how to write?