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BEFORE NIGHT FALLS

USA, 2000 (MIFF 2001, International Panorama)

Director: Julian Schnabel

Before Night Falls is based on the memoirs of exiled Cuban novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas—an artist struggling as a homosexual in post-revolutionary Cuba and forced to smuggle his manuscripts of short stories and poems abroad for publication. He was the first Cuban writer to publish without government permission and imprisoned as a consequence In 1980 he was allowed to leave for New York where he lived in exile until his death from AIDS in 1990. This poignant story delves into the life of Arenas and is American director Julian Schnabel's second feature film.

Revolutionary and historical footage spanning 40-years meld with the fine acting abilities of Javier Bardem whom was nominated for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival for this role. He plays Arenas with nuance and intelligence. Also won Grand Jury Prize at Venice Film Festival.

"Lyrical, sensual and shattering. Julian Schnabel's memorial to the late gay Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas is a devastating indictment of the Castro regime, which could tolerate neither Arenas sexuality nor his creativity. This fever-pitched film takes us places we've never been."—Variety.

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