HAVANA: the new art of making ruins

HAVANA: the new art of making ruins

    Price: $310.00

    Code: 2258

    Directed by Florian Borchmeyer and Matthias Hentschler
    2006, Available in an 85 or 52 Minute Version
    Purchase: $310 Classroom Rental: $125

    In recent years, Havana has become famous all over the world for the morbid charm of its flaking façades - a curious blend of magic and decay - and romanticized in countless Hollywood films and documentaries, most notably perhaps in Buena Vista Social Club.

    Its beauty resides in the poetry of its ruins. But these ruins are far less poetic for the people who inhabit them. Houses frequently collapse causing fatalities. The decay of this city and its living quarters is a continual source of both danger and shame for its inhabitants.

    This unique documentary tells the stories of the people who reside in these modern ruins, from a homeless man who lives in an abandoned theater (in which Caruso once sang for Cuba's high society), to an expropriated landowner who struggles against the decay of his parental home, to a writer who conceives a philosophy of the ruins to explain and bear the gradual collapse of the city and its political system.

    A mixture of private history, memories, fears and hopes for the future, Havana: The New Art of Making Ruins explores the quixotic relationship between man and architecture, man and ruins (commenting along the way on the ruin-tourism that has developed in Cuba, much like what we're seeing in New Orleans and Ground Zero). Spanning the entire history of Cuban architecture, from the colonial era up through the socialist revolution, this film captures the final moments of these historic buildings before they're renovated - or simply collapse altogether.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Special Jury Award, LA Latino International Film Festival, 2006
    * Official Selection, Locarno International Film Festival, 2006
    * Official Selection, Amsterdam Documentary Film Festival, 2006
    * Official Selection, Munich International Film Festival, 2006
    * Official Selection, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, 2006


    “Fascinating! A beautiful, nostalgic film that is vibrantly peopled by four individuals living in ruined buildings in Havana. A theory of the ruins and what they represent is threaded through the film. Highly recommended!” - Educational Media Reviews Online