SHORT NEWS

The Hollywood Reporter on EPICENTRO: «As aromatic as a cohiba cigar.»


Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter wrote:
«(...…) a film that weaves together vérité footage with voiceover philosophizing from Sauper himself and clips from an assortment of archive footage. In another filmmaker's hands, this might have become a message-heavy morass, but Sauper and his co-editor, veteran Yves Deschamps work the material with a remarkable fluidity and gracefulness that's consistently engaging and surprising», wrote Leslie Felperin on Epicentro, Hubert Sauper’s tender portrait of Cuba and winner of the Sundance World Cinema Documentary Prize.

Read full version of the THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER review

Allan Hunter of Screen International wrote:

«Cuba has been shaped by the slave trade, colonisation and the whims of global powers which makes it all the more poignant when Sauper explores the beauty of the country and the notion that it is a kind of utopia or paradise. There is a vivid sense of Havana in images of the crumbling buildings, crashing waves at the sea shore, a disused sugar factory, charming trobadours singing ’Guantanamera’, walls sporting posters of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and the flashy Chevrolets and Pontiacs of yesteryear that prowl the highways. Densely packed with sometimes random reflections, Epicentro shines in Sauper’s many encounters with the people of Cuba.»

Read full version of the SCREEN INTERNATIONAL review

 

One of «The 12 Best Movies at Sundance» «A brilliant mixture of historical-poetic analysis and a ground-level journey among the denizens of Havana… The director’s remarkable eye for lived-in detail and  for spectacular imagery will mesmerize you…»
Bilge Ebiri, Vulture (New York Times Magazine online)


«An amazing and poetic documentary… Epicentro faces complex issues such as the influence of the media on society, propaganda and post-truth, the mutation of imperialism, but it does so with a breath of humanism and a very lively and fresh narrative that seeks voices and stories on the margins of Havana.»
David Villafranca, EFE News Service

 
«Finding commonalities between post colonialism, cinema and the tourism industry of Cuba, Epicentro is an excellent exercise in decolonial thinking…
[Features] critical and captivating chats with people he seems to have met by chance… Directing his questions at his compelling ‘little prophets,’ the Austrian filmmaker captures their wisdom and a good amount of laughs.» 
Inge Coolsaet, POV Magazine

 

«Sauper makes the magic of cinema inextricable from its ability to disseminate destructive falsehoods for imperialistic purposes—from Lumiere to Department of Defense shorts is barely a leap at all… What’s consistently striking about Epicentro isn’t its political project, but how it looks: in its opening moments—heavily digital, noise-heavy night images of waves crashing in breathtaking white against the milky grey night sky—it looks like the visual language of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice film transplanted 90 miles away... I enjoyed the hangout vibes and frequent moments of beauty…
Vadim Rizov, Filmmaker Magazine

 

«A story about Cuba told by the people who know the Caribbean island best – its citizens...Epicentro celebrates how Cuba has stood up to imperialism by looking at the people on the street… most importantly, it all feels honest. It's not trying to preach an educational message or make political headway. It shows, rather than tells, what's happening… to create such a sensibility takes excellent filmmaking… Sauper cleverly demands that we look again at the island and at the principles of the people, and implores us not to believe the propaganda that is everywhere, because when people stand up to great power, something beautiful happens.»
Kaleem Aftab, Cineuropa

 

«Fascinating. A film that manages to be both dreamlike, immersive and intellectually rigorous at the same time. There is a fairly tale-like quality to the Cuba of today depicted in Epicentro... A country without the material wealth of the U.S. and yet possessing riches beyond price.»
Matthew Carey, NonfictionFilm.com

 

«A visual meld of geopolitical, cinematic, and personal connections, Epicentro enchants and suggests a new perspective on an old world.»
Manuel Betancourt, Remezcla

 

«[A] marvelous, intriguing portrait… Achieves with equally compelling effect a similar goal in the film, offering its American viewers a more balanced perspective than what international affairs analysts, media and scholars typically achieve in their simplistic assessments... illuminates many fresh perspectives about an island nation… Sauper’s loving portrait of these Cuban ‘little prophets’ opens the door to a truly Cuban perspective that offers to dispel the rumors, myths, propaganda and the generally sparse understanding many Americans still have about Cuba.»
Les Roka, The Utah Review

 

«A film that’s just brimming with ideas… It’s quite entertaining and honestly very charming to see how eloquent [the children] are….»
Devika Girish, Film Comment Podcast

 

«[An] intensely cinematic portrait.»
Nick Cunningham, Business Doc Europe