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U.S. Theatrical Premiere
SONS OF CUBA (Hijos de Cuba)
Best Documentary Special Jury Award Rome Film Fest
Best Foreign Film Havana Film Fest
"Andrew Lang's surefire crowd-pleaser is equal parts coming-of-age tale and sports drama, though its real gut punch comes from its matter-of-fact observations of the wider sociopolitical context" -Variety
"Lang's occasionally troubling but more often charming film gains remarkable acccess to the Havana Boxing Academy and offers a strikingly intimate portrait of the three rugrat pugilists" -TimeOut London
"[A] fine and patiently observant film" -Chicago Tribune
Recommended! "Powerful... intimate as well as lovingly shot" -NewCity Chicago
"Heartbreaking and thought provoking" -Hollywood Reporter
A hot Havana night and the punches are hitting hard in the outdoor ring. Cuba has ruled the world's boxing ring for several decades, but in this match the boxers are under twelve years old. At the Havana Boxing Academy, handpicked young athletes eat, sleep, and dream boxing as they train for a shot at a better life, the praise of their heroes, and the approval of their fearless leader: Fidel Castro. For the first time, a film crew is allowed inside to document their intensive training regimen as they prepare for the national championship. Sons of Cuba follows three of the Academy's rising stars, as they awake at 4am to train, and step with dread on the scales three times a day. Coach Yosvani is their resident father and psychologist, helping prepare them to be "good communist fighters", as the dogma of the revolution is as integral to their training as daily push-ups. Driven by hunger, pressure and exhaustion, the boys are often emotional and homesick, missing the families whom they have left behind, but hope to bring a championship back to their hometown. Richly photographed and intimately told, Sons of Cuba shows us what it is like to grow up in one of the world's last communist states, where a win in the ring is a victory for La Revolucion.
Directed by Andrew Lang, 2009, U.K., 88 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles.