Four Season in Havana – 2016 – Cuba
I love detectives, my main disappointment with this site being only about non-English media is that I can’t share my ranking of every NYPD detective. I’m also a little obsessed with Cuba, ever since I went through a communist phase in high school, I’ve wanted to go. So I had pretty high hopes for Netflix’s Four Seasons in Havana. The show’s main character is Mario Conte a police detective who’d rather be a novelist. There’s not much new with the, “tortured detective,” concept, though Four Season does it well, what make it special is the, “in Havana,” part.
Set in the mid-nineties after the collapse of the USSR, when both the Cuban government and the Cuban people were at their most isolated and desperate. We are shown glimpses of life for the majority of the population, barely scraping by but making the most of what they have. In contrast we are also given scenes of island’s upper class—usually on the wrong side of the law—who somehow manage maintain their status despite the hardships and that whole pesky “socialism” thing. It’s a fascinating look at a culture that has been cut off to many of us for decades.
Based on a series of Novels by Cuban author Leonardo Padura the series consists of four 90 minute episodes, with each one based on a single novel. There is nothing ground breaking in how the stories are told, but they are interesting and do a good job incorporating the history and politics of Cuba, giving them an angle that sets them apart from similar shows. It’s super fascinating to get to get glimpse of Cuba from the inside. They only made these four episodes but I hope we get more Cuban shows or movies in the future.