A Well Crafted Cock-Fest in Havana

February 6, 2017

 

 

Four Seasons in Havana is a very stylish, well constructed crime mini series. It has a "Noir" feel but with overly dramatic and Cuban banter. Noir typically showcases more subtle acting, and minimal dialogue, and generates a "colder" more mysterious tone. Four Seasons in Havana, for all of its noir-esque elements, is still a warm and colorful show. The story is interesting enough. The biggest issue with this show is the male chauvinism and relationships established with the minimal female cast whose sole purpose is to: 1) be raped and murdered (Lisette - Ep1), 2) to be the object of the man's sexual desire ("Stick it to the redhead"), or 3) to serve the men (feed them and bring them coffee). It's funny actually how backwards it is (We found ourselves laughing out loud each time a man asked a woman for coffee, or thanked them for feeding them). 

 

Outside of the minor (almost no speaking) female roles, the show is a Cock-Fest of men in positions of power whether it be on the right side of the law, or the left side. Male police officers, male drug dealers, male doctors, male criminals, male students, it's a one dimensional show that hides its outdated caveman worldview behind a beautiful landscape, beautiful colors and shots (some pretty cool drone-shots of Havana), and exceptional acting by Jorge Perugorria and his supporting Cuban cast. 

 

But when compared to other Latin American shows that have recently broken into the Netflix market, "Four Seasons in Havana" is not current with the politics of our time. In the Brazilian show "3%" (also on Netflix), the cast is diverse inclusive, and the leads and power players, both male and female, making the science fiction action/adventure  an interesting complex forward thinking show about bi-racial relationships, composite women characters (and male characters), which was an element missing in "Four Seasons in Havana"

 

While the styling is forward thinking, the colors vibrant, and the setting (Havana) alluring, the show leaves much to be desired when it comes to building tension, and to the representation of three dimensional characters. The tension is lost when every bit of the mystery is told as back-story or as a memory. So rather than anything happening or being revealed, plot points are told in flashbacks, making the pacing slow and boring. The lack of three dimensional characters is due to the overpowering testosterone that fills the screen throughout each scene, and the lack of diverse creative Casting, as well as the perpetuation of the White Cuban as the hero, and the Black Cubans as the poor Drug dealers.

 

I hope more culturally relevant shows get produced and brought into the main stream. As a Cuban, artist and filmmaker i hope that Cuban stories and Latin American stories get shared and accepted as universal, but no matter who you are, or where you come from, everyone should be held to the same standards of political correctness and good storytelling. After all, as a medium, we all want to keep moving forward, not backwards.

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