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Letztes Update: 27. May 2024

Even though it sounds like food, today we’re not serving a recipe, but one of the most awarded Cuban films!

Alright, folks, get ready to dive into the vibrant world of Cuban cinema with one of the island’s most acclaimed films!

Picture this: Havana, late 1970s. Meet David, a staunchly loyal student who’s got a serious case of unrequited love. Enter Diego, a flamboyant artist on a quest for new conquests. Their paths cross at the iconic Coppelia ice cream parlor—David’s all about the chocolate, while Diego’s got a thing for strawberry. And that’s where their journey begins, intertwining into an extraordinary intellectual friendship that stands strong against the oppressive political backdrop of the time.

If you haven’t seen *Strawberry and Chocolate* (*Fresa y Chocolate*), I won’t spoil too much for you—though it’s not exactly an action-packed thriller where I’d be giving away plot twists 😉 Just dive in and experience the magic of the film!

What truly captivates me about this movie is the natural way director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea portrays the evolution of their friendship amidst adversity. The narrative is never over-the-top or cheesy, but rather relatable and easy to understand. Both leads shine in their roles, delivering believable performances. A fun tidbit: Vladimir Cruz, who plays the homophobic David, is actually gay in real life, while Jorge Perugorría, playing the gay Diego, is heterosexual.

So, grab some popcorn (maybe strawberry and chocolate flavored?) and let yourself be immersed in this beautiful piece of Cuban cinema that not only entertains but also provides a profound look into the political climate of 1970s Cuba. Enjoy the show!

Famous Filming Locations from Strawberry and Chocolate

Coppelia

Cuba’s most famous ice cream parlor is immortalized in the film. This is where Diego and David meet for the first time, with Diego remarking that he’s witnessing miracles today because he finds a strawberry in his ice cream—and, of course, he has David sitting in front of him. The ice cream parlor still looks just like it does in the film, so here are some beautiful pictures for you:

Diego makes a move on David.

 

Oh, a strawberry!

La Guarida

Diego’s apartment is now one of Cuba’s most famous restaurants, La Guarida. The food is excellent, though the prices aren’t exactly typical Cuban. But it’s worth it for the atmosphere. And the building itself is spectacular—the view from the terrace is stunning, making it well worth a visit.

 

Diego and David hide from the neighbor.

 

Rocco, the leaking fridge

 

The problematic saints figures

 

The entrance to the house—you probably recognize it from hundreds of photos and films.

Reference and Inspiration: José Lezama Lima

The author José Lezama Lima is frequently mentioned in the film. I must admit, I haven’t dared to tackle his work yet—he’s known to be quite a challenging read. He served as an inspiration for the character of Diego, and the film even pays tribute to him. For those interested, there’s also a Lezama Lima Museum in Havana.

International Recognition

The film garnered numerous awards. Internationally, its most notable achievement was being nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, though it didn’t win against the Russian entry. It was also honored at the 13th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, won a Silver Bear in Berlin, and received many other accolades.

Facts and Figures

  • Director: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
  • Based on and Screenplay by: Senel Paz
  • Diego: Jorge Perugorría
  • David: Vladimir Cruz
  • Nancy: Mirta Ibarra
  • Production Countries: Mexico, Cuba, Spain
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Runtime: 108 minutes

Why I Find This Film So Special

Strawberry and Chocolate (*Fresa y Chocolate*) is by far my favorite among the many Cuban films. It has such emotional depth and narrative power that even writing about it now warms my heart. The film deals with unrequited love, true friendship, and unexpectedly found new love, culminating in a bittersweet ending that skillfully navigates the extremes—never too cheesy, overly dramatic, or cynical. It blends joy and sorrow, combining endings and new beginnings.

What do you think? How did you like *Strawberry and Chocolate*? At our place, the movie poster proudly hangs in the living room 😉

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