Saturday, December 18, 2010

Movie Review of Before Night Falls (2000)

Having drunk the sweetness of solitude and also the sweetness of tranquility, one becomes free from fear and wrongdoing while drinking the sweetness of the joy of truth.
- Sutta Nipāta 257

Javier Bardem’s performance as Reinaldo Arenas is spectacular. The movie is based on the autobiography of Arenas who, as a homosexual and writer, suffered terrible persecution in Cuba. The story shows the horror of Cuban prison and the desperate attempts people took to escape the country. Olivier Martinez, Johnny Depp, and Sean Penn also present excellent performances. (I must admit, I occasionally found it difficult to keep the characters straight.)

Although this is a difficult story to watch, it is worth the discomfort.

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