cuba movies

5 movies to watch before your Cuba trip

cuba movies

What an interesting country Cuba is! And you haven’t yet set foot!

Each time I book a trip, I experience instant excitement. According to researchers, the anticipation of a journey makes you as happy as the trip itself, so let’s keep the momentum going. Immerse yourself in reading novels, talking about your travel with friends, and watching some great movies about Cuba. You will feel like your travels have already begun!

All the movies we recommend below are older, and most can be rented from your local library for free.

Motorcycle Diaries - 2004

Directed by: Walter Salas

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal as young Che Guevara and as Alberto Granado

Standing ovations at Sundance film festival

 In Cuba, you will see the famous image of Che everywhere – on buildings, banknotes, and t-shirts. Motorcycle Diaries gives us the opportunity to get to know the actual human behind the icon. In the movie, we meet young Ernesto Guevara “before he knew where life would take him and before the world knew his name”. Free from politics and ideology and based on the true story written by Che himself, the film follows two close friends as they set off on a motorcycle trip through Latin America. During the long journey, Ernesto and Alberto discover the exploitation of native Americans by Spanish and US landowners and mining corporations. The tribes in Chile and Peru live in excruciating poverty and face racial discrimination and social injustice. Experiencing “the true Latin America” transforms the lives of Alberto and Ernesto forever.

The shot includes spectacular sceneries of Andes, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and Amazon, and with a soundtrack that causes goosebumps, it is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

You can watch the movie on YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

Chico and Rita - 2010

Directed by: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, and Tono Errando.

Oscar nomination for best-animated movie.

Chico and Rita is an animated love story between two young and talented Cuban musicians: pianist Chico (the story is loosely based on a life of Bebo Valdés and the singer Rita. Their turbulent relationship is set against the backdrop of Havana and New York in the 50’s, the Cuban revolution, and then a special period. The great soundtrack was written and performed by Bebo Valdés and Estrella Morente. The enchanting scenes in the iconic Tropicana and Hotel Nacional will surely make you want to visit Cuba.

You can watch the movie on Tubi, Amazon Prime, and iTunes.

cuba movies

Cuba and the Cameraman - 2017

Directed by: Jon Alpert 

Jon Alpert traveled to Cuba for 45 years to document the lives of three ordinary Cuban families. During those years, he becomes friends with his characters, especially the 3 farming brothers Angel, Gregorio, and Cristobal. Beautiful, the moving documentary was made by an American who surely loves and respects Cuba.

You can watch the movie on Netflix.

cuba movies

Strawberry and Chocolate (Fresa y Chocolate) - 1993

Directed by: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío

Starring: Jorge Perugorría as Diego and Vladimir Cruz as David

In one of its apartments, Diego, a sophisticated gay Cuban artist, attempts to seduce a young communist party member – David. David is magnetized by Diego’s personality and at the same time finds him to be a threat to a socialist system in which he strongly believes. He decides to spy on Diego and commits himself to report back on him to Cuban secret police. Unexpectedly, the two become friends.

Surprisingly, the movie portrays Cuba in a rather negative light, as a homophobic police state that was actually funded by the Cuban government. The building in which the movie was shot is now one of the most visited places in Havana.

You can watch the movie on JustWatch, and DirecTV.

cuba movies

Buena Vista Social Club - 1999

Directed by: Wim Wenders

Critic’s Choice Awards

The documentary directed by Wim Winders tells the story of Cuba’s most famous band, Buena Vista Social Club. In the late ’90s, the guitarist Ry Cooder and his son, Joachim, traveled to Havana with a mission to gather together the best Cuban musicians and record an album. Their idea that started on the streets of Havana ended with a sold-out concert in Carnegie Hall. This documentary pays a beautiful tribute to Cuban music and its main characters including Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzales.

You can watch the movie on Vudu, YouTube, and HBO Now.

Enjoy your movie night and tell us which one is your favorite!

If you want to know more about Cuba tours, feel free to contact us:

www.colibriboston.org

info@colibriboston.org

+1 617 301 1237

2 Responses

  1. Hi Sylvia,

    Another one I found on Netflix is called the Cuba Libre Story. Its a bit more current, made in 2015 and addresses more issues of our program about struggles with equity, inclusion, and social justice in the country.

    1. Hello Abigail,

      We are happy to hear from you!
      Thank you for sharing with us another great movie to watch before Cuba trip 🙂

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2. All payments are final and non-refundable.

1. Send request

2. Receive confirmation and registration forms

3. Send completed form and $500 deposit

4. You are ready to go!

Send request

Receive confirmation and registration forms

Send completed form and $500 deposit

You are ready to go!

Complete the form

Attention!

1. Deposit and final payment are final and non-refundable. We recommend purchasing trip cancellation insurance in order to protect your trip.

2. Cuban insurance is automatically included in every flight ticket to Cuba.

3. We reserve the right to cancel the trips due to reasons that do not depend on us like natural disasters etc. In such case we will refund all payments.

1. Send request

2. Receive confirmation and registration forms

3. Send completed form and $500 deposit

4. You are ready to go!

Send request

Receive confirmation and registration forms

Send completed form and $500 deposit

You are ready to go!

Complete the form

Attention!

1. Deposit and final payment are final and non-refundable. We recommend purchasing trip cancellation insurance in order to protect your trip.

2. Cuban insurance is automatically included in every flight ticket to Cuba.

3. We reserve the right to cancel the trips due to reasons that do not depend on us like natural disasters etc. In such case we will refund all payments.