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May 19, 2008 | by  | in Film |
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Film Review: La Verdad

Directed by Helen Smyth

La Verdad is the documentary version of a White Russian (the drink, not the race), while at first it seems interesting and does capture the imagination, it is unfulfilling and will leave you regretting even getting involved with it.

It tells the story of a former journalist turned housewife who is holidaying in Cuba with her family when she befriends an elderly anti-Castro journalist Nestor Bageur. During their many visits back to Cuba he becomes part of the family. He tells them of his families historical connections to Queen Elizabeth who gifted his family large plots of land, making them part of the pre-revolution elite. He is charming and engaging but turns out to be a double agent for Castro who eventually sells out his friends and has fooled foreign journalists before.

This is where the documentary falls apart: Nestor’s betrayal, like all other questions posed by the film, are never answered. We are introduced to Nestor’s friend ‘Johnny’, whose youthful exuberance and anger do little to give credence to the anti- Castro movement but who was portrayed by the narrative as like a son to Nestor. Yet when they interview Nestor after his betrayal they fail to answer how he could do this to Johnny or challenge many of the things says, like a Bush plan to invade Cuba again? Her questions are so soft ball and seemingly without any form of follow-up questioning.

Other points are brought up once and never mentioned again, the film brings up a list of American groups with dollar amounts next to them but this as well is never explained. But its biggest flaw is that the film never discusses her emotional reaction to the years of deception from a man she naively considered family.

If she was ever searching for ‘La Verdad’, which translates from Spanish into ‘the truth’, then she has failed.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Nick Archer says:

    Thanks Haimona, what are some vampire films you recommend? and Horror films too? I like ones rom the 80s like Hellraiser, The Thing (anything by John Carpenter is bit of a hoot), etc…

    And what are 10 Crap films (real shockers) to avoid? or 10 most overrated films (these debates are fun…)?

  2. Nick Archer says:

    Sydney Pollack died of cancer, sad as he was good in his day. I loved Tootsie as a kid and his acting was good (at times) e.g. he was more convincing than Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut…, The Player and he was great in Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives.

    I think his best film was a toss up between They Shoot Horses Don’t They and Three Days of the Condor (one of those gritty 70s political thrillers they pumped out around the time of Watergate…).

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