Strawberry and Chocolate
|Strawberry and Chocolate
Fresa y chocolate
|Directed by||Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
Juan Carlos Tabío
|Produced by||Camilo Vives
|Distributed by||Miramax Films (USA)|
|Running time||108 minutes|
Strawberry and Chocolate (Spanish: Fresa y chocolate) is a Cuban-Spanish-Mexican co-produced film, directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío, based on the short story "The Wolf, The Forest and the New Man" (in Spanish, El Lobo, el bosque y el hombre nuevo) written by Senel Paz in 1990. Senel Paz also wrote the screenplay for the film.
The story takes place in Havana, Cuba in 1979. David (Vladimir Cruz) is a university student who meets Diego (Jorge Perugorría), a gay artist unhappy with the Castro regime's attitude toward the LGBT community as well as the censored conceptualization of culture. David's homophobic classmate, Miguel (Francisco Gattorno), plans to use David to spy on Diego, a person whom they see as aberrant and dangerous to the Communist cause; Diego, for his part, initiates the friendship with sexual intentions.
- Jorge Perugorría ... Diego
- Vladimir Cruz ... David
- Mirta Ibarra ... Nancy
- Francisco Gattorno ... Miguel
- Joel Angelino ... German
- Marilyn Solaya ... Vivian
- Andrés Cortina ... Santeria priest
- Antonio Carmona ... Boyfriend
Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert comments that "nothing unfolds as we expect. Strawberry and Chocolate is not a movie about the seduction of a body, but about the seduction of a mind. It is more interested in politics than sex — unless you count sexual politics, since to be homosexual in Cuba is to make an anti-authoritarian statement whether you intend it or not."
The title refers to a comment made by Diego that proved immediately to David that Diego was gay when, at Havana's Coppelia (ice cream parlor), he chose strawberry ice cream even though chocolate (vastly more popular) was available.
Awards and nominations
- Goya Award for Best Spanish-Language Foreign Film (Mejor Película Extranjera de Habla Hispana)
- Premio ACE awards: Cinema—Best Film, Cinema—Best Director, Cinema—Best Actor (Perugorría), and Cinema—Best Supporting Actor (Cruz)
- Sundance Film Festival: Special Jury Prize:Special Mention
- 44th Berlin International Film Festival: Silver Berlin Bear—Special Jury Prize, Teddy—Best Feature Film
- Gramado Film Festival (Brazil): Audience Award, Kikito Critics Prize, and Golden Kikito awards in the categories of Best Latin Film, Best Actor (tie between Cruz and Perugorría), and Best Supporting Actress (Ibarra)
- Havana Film Festival: Grand Coral—First Prize, Audience Award, FIPRESCI Prize, OCIC Award, ARCI-NOVA Award, and the categories of Best Direction, Best Actor (Perugorría), Best Actress (Luisina Brando), Best Supporting Actress (Ibarra), and Best Screenplay.
- Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 1994
- Golden Berlin Bear, 1994 Berlin International Film Festival