East of Havana
East of Havana (2007)

Three talented hip-hop musicians struggle to make themselves heard in a repressive culture in this documentary from filmmakers Jauretsi Saizabitoria and Emilia Menocal. While rap and hip-hop are often cited as the most pervasive and… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: February 2, 2007
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Critic Score: 75% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Michael Ordoņa
Los Angeles Times

A rare glimpse of everyday life in Cuba, where big questions and obstacles confront the rappers at seemingly every turn.

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out

East of Havana lacks the grace or intelligence to let the music speak for itself.

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Eric Monder
Film Journal International

There are some memorable, evocative moments, but they are spoiled by the film's obvious and simplistic politics.

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Michelle Orange
L.A. Weekly

East of Havana sets individual stories against the bitter, resilient landscape of Cuba's political history. For the youth in the film, music doesn't just have a purpose, it is a purpose, and the artists find in hip-hop a 'mental freedom.'

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Scott Brown
Entertainment Weekly

There's a beat, but we never quite see who's dancing to it.

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Ted Murphy
Murphy's Movie Reviews

It would have been nice to say that EAST OF HAVANA serves a terrific introduction to the world of Cuban hip-hop, but I cannot.

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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

If you thought that the Buena Vista Social Club was all that needed to be said about Cuban music, now there's East of Havana, which is about the Cuba rap scene.

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Kyle Smith
New York Post

The film makes an ironic point about Cuba: This is a land where the grandparents are revolutionaries (or at least say they are) but the kids are yearning for capitalist globalization.

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Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

East of Havana, at its best, extols the Cuban hip-hop artist's sense of community and insistence on being heard through the rhetoric of Castro's revolution.

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