A second opinion on Spirits of Havana

Editors, the Gauntlet,

Re: ‘Spirits of Havana anything but spirited,” Sept. 28, 2000

Despite Ms. Anthony’s unfavourable review of Spirits of Havana, I went to see it and found it to be an excellent social and political commentary on modern-day Cuba. Ms. Anthony has done a disservice to movie-goers by portraying this good National Film Board of Canada’s production to be a shallow, poorly-done movie.

She does acknowledge that the music is good; however, she fails to mention a fundamental aspect of the movie: acclaimed Canadian artist Jane Bunnet’s contribution of bringing and repairing instruments in music colleges across Cuba and teaching students.

The movie focuses on her learning Cuban rhythms and interacting with local musicians. Furthermore, the movie did an admirable job of bringing the national colour, character and history to the fore. It should also be praised for featuring Haitian music in Cuba which not many people are aware of. This documentary is not meant for a commercial audience; however, I would encourage anyone interested in learning about another culture to go see Spirits of Havana.

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