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7 Days in Havana

Directed by Benicio del Toro, Gaspar Noe and five others 

Spain, 2012

Cornerhouse, 15 July 2012

You have seven short films, each made by a different director, altogether covering a week in the Cuban capital.

They’re pretty much all engaging, the predominant cinematic register being wry, slightly quirky, open-ended…

An exception is Gaspar Noe’s Ritual, a mesmerising, dialogue-free film with a pounding beat.  It is about a father’s attempt to purge his wayward daughter’s heart of a forbidden desire: she loves girls.  There is a transvestite (or an actor playing a transvestite) in the first film, Benicio del Toro’s offering, and he appears on a later day too; there’s an occasional connection between the films, a few characters recur.  Anyway, it reminded me that the film with the most transvestites ever is supposed to be Tam Tam by Adolfo Arrieta.

7 Days in Havana is OK and sometimes somewhat better than that, but it’s a pity that Almodovar didn’t contribute to it.