Retour a Ithaque
Five friends enjoy the sunset on a terrace overlooking Havana and celebrate the return of their friend Amadeo after sixteen years in exile. They look back on their lives, experiences and unfulfilled dreams. Delicate and characterful film by much-praised director Laurent Cantet.
Overlooking the beautiful harbour, Amadeo, Aldo, Tania, Rafa and Eddy reminisce while drinking and eating. Their get-together starts off with anecdotes and precious memories of when they were young and impetuous. But as the sun sets the atmosphere slowly changes. The legacy of what is called the ‘special period’ in Cuba, when oppression in their country gained momentum, is all but a thing of the past for the five friends. None of them have been able to realise their dreams, becoming a spoonfed painter, a writer who has gone into hiding and is suffering from a writer’s block, a corrupt civil servant and a poor ophthalmologist. As the evening wears on old wounds are opened up and painful secrets revealed, but gradually reconciliation and mutual understanding take the upper hand.
French filmmaker Laurent Cantet (Entre les murs) worked with Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura on this ‘conversation piece’.
France 2014, 95 min.
Spoken language: Spanish