The Extraordinary: Havana Glasgow Film Festival
Next week, a new edition of the Havana Glasgow Film Festival will take place, as many other festivals and events, it will be completely online. Among the carefully curated content, there is a film that immediately will catch your eye.
The Extraordinary Journey of Celeste García is a Cuban sci-fi movie which originally premiered in 2018. It tells a story of aliens infiltrated among the Cuban people. When the uncovered creatures decide to come back to their planet, they offer to some lucky ones the chance to visit them. The special ingredient in this narrative is its main character, Celeste Garcia. She is a 60 year-old planetarium guide and ex-school teacher whose peaceful life is about to suddenly change. A change that she has been waiting for a long while, coming in an unexpected way when she is chosen to travel and meet the distant world of the aliens. Her aspirations, fears and hopes are the core of the story.
Indeed, from Ellen Ripley to River Tam, a number of young, physically strong characters were created within the science fiction field. This is not the case of Celeste. This woman portrayed is close to her retirement, and it is the way of reflecting over her feelings and her desire to be alive which drive this movie. A woman who looks weaker at the beginning of the tape, growing in some way toward the end of the film. Maybe “she does not have her whole life ahead of her”, as someone recalls. However, she is willing to make every single moment worth her while.
However, the film has no pretension of becoming a feminist allegation at all. The approach adopted to understand Celeste´s situation, as well as a superb performance of Maria Isabel Díaz Lago, produce this special outcome. Hard topics such as domestic abuse and social withdrawal feature, and still, sparks of a dark comedy are present in this movie, which is closer to drama rather than to any other genre. Altogether with the Cuban yearnings to travel, it can be really touching in some instances.
It is worth watching The Extraordinary Journey of Celeste García. All the Latin American cinema lovers have the unique chance to enjoy this and other rarely found films during the Havana Glasgow Film Festival.
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