Cast: Antonio Eduardo; Armendбriz Jr. Pedro; Arroyuelo Eduardo; Babenco Hector; Bardem Javier; Benites Aquiles; Benнtez Benjamнn; Bucio Julian; Castro Fidel; Compte Maurice; Depp Johnny; Di Stefano Andrea; Domingo Xavier; Dнaz Yulian; Ehrenberg Matthias; Estrella Filiberto; Florido Giovanni; Ganuza Eloy; Garcнa Manolo; Gattorno Francisco; Gonzбlez Manuel; Hebra Melanio Filiberto; Khotan; Laresca Vincent; Luna Diego; Magill Santiago; Martinez Olivier; Medina Noel; Murillo Juan Cristуbal; Nemo; Nugent Jimmy; Oliver Mario; Ortiz John; Osoria Claudio; Penn Sean; Pereyra Renй; Rivera Rene; Rivero Manolo; Schnabel Cy; Schnabel Jack; Schnabel Olmo; Schnabel Vito Maria; Silva Sebastiбn; Skolimowski Jerzy; Springer Eric; Valdez Robertico; Villa Alfredo; Wincott Michael; Woolrich Abel; Zamora Jorge; Zavala Antonio; Zepeda Jorge; Zбrate Jorge; Abbott Diahnne; Barragбn Lois; Beato Carmen; Borayo Olga; Chapman Lia; Cruz Zulema; Dнaz Marlene; Fassler Andrea; Gil Annie; Lуpez Garmendia Olatz; Magda; Maillй Claudette; Martinez Caridad; Medina Ofelia; Navarro Lolу; Nimri Najwa; Padilla Sбnchez Marisol; Piaskowska Eva; Puertas Chanel; Reyes Spнndola Patricia; Schnabel Esther G.; Schnabel Lola; Schnabel Stella; Kilik Jon; Schnabel Julian; Arenas Reynaldo; Bokova Jana; Gуmez Carriles Lбzaro; O’Keefe Cunningham; Pйrez Grobet Xavier; Rosas Guillermo; Burwell Carter; Fernбndez Marнa Estela; Berenbaum Michael; Bianculli David F.; Bruno Keri; Cervбntes Adriбn; Chesneau Sylvie; Corkidi Martin; Davis Robyn J.; Finn John B.; Hendrix Jonas; Hogan Sean; Iturriaga Alejandro; Lamia Brian; Loyo Susana; Lozano G. Pekas; Macirella Michelle; Nordhaus Monica; Pйrez Rafael; Ruiz Luis; Sandoval Diego; Sandoval Pedro; Schneider Josh; Williams Gwenn; Parra Salvador
Storyline: Episodic look at the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), from his childhood in Oriente province to his death in New York City. He joins Castro’s rebels. By 1964, he is in Havana. He meets the wealthy Pepe, an early lover; a love-hate relationship lasts for years. Openly gay behavior is a way to spite the government. His writing and homosexuality get him into trouble: he spends two years in prison, writing letters for other inmates and smuggling out a novel. He befriends Lбzaro Gomes Garriles, with whom he lives stateless and in poverty in Manhattan after leaving Cuba in the Mariel boat-lift. When asked why he writes, he replies cheerfully, “Revenge.”
1964, Havana. ‘Reynaldo Arenas (I)’ (qv) has just gotten a job working at the National Library, although he really wants to be a writer, which he has showed great aptitude at since he was a child growing up in the countryside in Oriente province. He is just beginning to acknowledge his homosexual orientation. With the support of like-minded friends, Reinaldo begins to flourish both sexually and artistically, and he becomes a world renowned writer. But by the 1970s, he is feeling more and more repressed by the Cuban authorities, both for his work and his homosexuality, despite he having fought for the Castro led revolutionary forces when he was a teenager. Although he is able to smuggle manuscripts out of Cuba to get published, he himself has a more difficult time trying to get out. The police use any excuse to arrest, detain and or imprison him. In May 1980, he is finally able to leave to the US in a purge by Castro of anyone who doesn’t support the regime. But in the US, Reinaldo is plagued by other demons.
Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas’s life is narrated by him, in an inextricable mix of his memories, dreams, nightmares and pure fiction. He grew up as poor, naked illegitimate child, joined Castro’s Cuban revolution and became an intellectual, employed in the public library. After discovering his gay sexuality, he soon shares in the regime’s inconsistent persecution. His work and life become dominated by the mix of temptation, fear, betrayal and man-hunting in both senses. Finally he makes it to Manhattan, only to get caught in another trap for which there is only one tragic escape in the end.