Skip to main content

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.

See also...

LOU REED'S BERLIN (PG)

“I don't like nostalgia unless it's mine.” - Lou ReedLou Reed's Berlin album, released in 1973 to commercial failure and media excoriation, has been called Lou Reed's unknown masterpiece. A ... More »

THE TAO OF STEVE

Ten years after graduation, Dex has gained a few pounds. Friends who come across him at a college reunion wonder what became of the chopper ridin' lady killer they remember from University. But make ... More »

NURSE BETTY

" Nurse Betty takes a case of amnesia and spins into an irresistible mixture of sadness and hilarity. At it's giddiest peaks the movie, directed by Neil LaBute ( Your Friends and Neighbours, MIFF ... More »

THINGS BEHIND THE SUN

In 1992, Gas Food Lodging placed US Allison Anders on the world map as one of the strongest US independent filmmakers. With this, her sixth feature - between directing Sex and the City - she ... More »

RETURN TO ME

Bob (David Duchovny) is a construction worker, happily married to Elizabeth (Joely Richardson), a celebrated zoologist. Living in a luxurious apartment, they seem to have it all. Suddenly, Elizabeth ... More »

BUNNY

Nik and Luda are recent emigres to the USA following their hurried departure from an unnamed war-torn country. Arriving penniless in L.A. they lodge with a truculent friend of the family. Despite ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director