Poetic Loving Film Makes a Mockery of Mockumentaries
Dorion Sagan | East Coast, USA and Toronto | 06/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1997 movie, much of it filmed along the sea wall in Havana, is a beautiful, playful, and ultimately deeply moving exploration of two young women, the incredibly vivacious 16-year-old promiscuous Cuban Yuliet Ortega and her green-eyed Mexican model would-be mentor, Fabiola Quiroz. I agree with the San Francisco Chronicle quote that only a poet could have dared so much and succeded so completely. Among the many innovations here are a send-up of the popular "mockumentary" structure-these people are either real or an incredibly undiscovered bevy of the world's most accomplished Latin actors. There are many touching, laugh out loud moments-and the laughter is heartfelt, resulting from the innocent depths of youthful sweetness and naivete that mark these young Cubans' joyful and yet heartbreaking lives. Yuliet's white father has left on a perilous trip across the straits of Florida to settle in the United States; her mother has attempted suicide by immolation (she fails but then succumbs to a heart attack). She is raised by her toothless black grandma, who beats her but clearly loves her, and who talks about the Stanislavsky method and her thanks to Yuliet (Italian for Juliette) for finally allowing her to realize her dream as an actor. The film actually shows what is good about Cuba (Yuliet's presumably lambasting remarks about Castro are muted)-its interracial harmony, the abiding hope and sweetness of its citizens, and its freedom from the poisoning influence of souls sacrificed upon the altar of the dollar. Very innovative, deeply personal and credible (e.g., Yuliet: "I just want to say, to any of you who are still left in the theater, that I never did sleep with the director"), and ultimately a cinematic act of uncompromising love."
Argentinean talent in a Mexican disguise
Hernan Goyanes | Buenos Aires, Argentina | 04/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Carlos Marcovich first film is a must for every film student or film fan. Carlos had been a succesful photography director and video clip director. In one of these video clips he met Juliette, a Cuban prostitute. The film has a mixture of humour and sadness showing the constrasts between the lives of Juliette and Faviola, a Mexican model. It is filmed as if there was no script and if only Marcovich's talent was the driver of the story Well done. It deserves all the prices it received And finally, Marcovich was born in Argentina. Tango music can be heard in the film as a tribute to his home country"
Life's full of surprises & this one's inspiringly beautiful!
Fouad Abdel Malak | Dubai, Dubai United Arab Emirates | 03/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Starring Yuliet Ortega, Fabiola Quiroz, Victor Ortega, Jorge Quiroz. The best cinematography I've seen for ages, especially the opening credits with an awsome white wave crashing against the rocks and upsettingthe dominant blue of the sky. Very experimental documentary like film, shot in three locations over a period of some three years. Mexican cinematographer & Director Carlos Marcovich won an award for this, his debut film. It's about a girl's journey out of the slums, and the people who interact with her in her extrodinary quest to rid herself of the enveloping hardship of the "barrio". Moving and witty portrayal that can sometimes drain and confuse the viewer by constantly shifting from one character interview to another with no breaks or chance to fully absorb the plot. Originality and cinematography steal the show though, in what is surely to be a film that brings much needed inspiration and relief from the usual Hollywood Commercial Drugery."
Freshest movie in a long time.
D. Pawl | 05/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who the hell is Juliette? is a small masterpiece that drips with verve and spontaneity. By turn sexy, funny, sad and raucous, it serves up a gritty and refreshing look at a streetwise Cuban girl's search for identity against the backdrop of contemporary Havana. Yuliet Ortega steals the show with her nubile energy and sensuality. And hats off to director Carlos Marcovich for the beautiful cinematography. Makes me want to visit Cuba one day. Recommended."