"I knew he was a homosexual," David (Vladimir Cruz) says of Diego (Jorge Perugorria), "there was chocolate and he chose strawberry."The incident occurs at a sidewalk café in Havana in 1979. David is a shy teenager, a member of the Communist Youth League. His handsome features catch the eye of Diego, a considerably older intellectual aesthete. He brings him to his house in an attempt to impress the culturally inclined David with his library and record collection. Assigned to investigate Diego by his fellow party members, David instead becomes immersed in a tender friendship; opening his mind to an alternative way of life in Communist Cuba.
Strawberry & Chocolate represented a cultural milestone in its release in 1993. One of the most popular films in Cuba it achieved unparalleled international acclaim, becoming the first Cuban film to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. Made in collaboration with Juan Carlos Tabio, Strawberry & Chocolate arrived near the end of Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s career; a gentle comic work about friendship and coming-of-age which is also a staunch critique of homophobia.
"A superb Cuban film from 1993, a little classic about gay freedom and its aspirations versus Fidel Castro and his Marxist straitjacketing" Financial Times
"A clear call for tolerance, deftly executed by a director for whom the personal and the political were indivisible" Film4
"Watching his funny and likeable Havana-set comedy is like chancing upon some undiscovered early gem by Godard or Woody Allen, and yet it has a worldliness and drollery that is all its own" The Guardian
Cast & Credits: Jorge Perugorria / Vladimir Cruz / Mirta ibarra / Directed: Tomas Gutierrez Alea & Juan Carlos Tabio / Screenplay: Senal Paz
Awards: Academy Awards (1995), Nominated, Best Foreign Language Film / Sundance Film Festival (1995), Won, Honourable Mention, Latin American Cinema / National Board of Review (1994), Won, NBR Award, Top Foreign Film / Chicago International Film Fesitval (1994), Won, Best Actor
Technical: 1994 / 104 minutes / Spanish with English Subtitles / Stereo audio / 1.85 : 1 Colour / DVD PAL Multi Region / Rating 18 / MRBDVD013
Licensed from Contemporary Films courtesy of AUDIOVISUALES ICAIC.