Rafael 3 Thu, Oct 11, 2018 6:00 PM
Lark Theatre Fri, Oct 12, 2018 8:45 PM
Film Info
Category:Viva El Cine
Section:World Cinema
Running Time:125 min.
Director:Junji Sakamoto
Producer:Naoya Kinoshita
Yukiko Shii
Screenwriter:Junji Sakamoto
Cinematographer:Shingo Gima
Editor:Shin'ichi Fushima
Cast:Joe Odagiri
Juan Miguel Valero Acosta
Giselle Lominchar
Print Source:mk2 Films
Note Writer:Jeff Campbell


Japanese-Bolivian medical student Freddy Maemura Hurtado (Japanese superstar Joe Odagiri) travels to Cuba in 1962 to become a doctor, but instead joins Che Guevara’s guerrilla army to fight alongside his hero in this powerful, anti-war biopic. A fascinating Cold War footnote, Freddy’s story resonates with themes that speak sharply to today: from the ongoing threat of nuclear war to the perpetual injustice of poverty, proxy wars, and illegitimate foreign-backed governments. An unusual Japanese-Cuban co-production, shot largely (and evocatively) in Cuba, the film personalizes its politics through Freddy’s transformation from serious, idealistic student into an unlikely revolutionary who idolizes Che and quietly burns with moral outrage. Anger at America is a pulsing vein throughout the drama, but the pointed question the film asks is: What should one do? Is the struggle for freedom, peace, and justice worth risking one’s life? The earnest, uncynical answer is yes.

In association with PlazaCUBA

Additional Information

Junji Sakamoto was born in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, in 1958. After working as a set assistant or assistant director, he made his directorial debut in 1989 with Knockout, which won numerous honors, including the Directors Guild of Japan’s New Director Award. In 2000, he won Japanese Academy’s Best Director Award and many other awards for his masterpiece, Face. His other remarkable films include Tekken (1990), Tokarev (1994), New Battles Without Honor and Humanity (2000), KT (2002), Out of this World (2004), Children of the Dark (2008), Someday (2011), A Chorus of Angels (2012), and Human Trust (2013).