Summer in Cuba. The friendship between two small boys is put to the test in a captivating and dreamy film for everyone whose imagination is still intact.
One forgets that a camera is present in 'Baracoa'. It is summer in Cuba, and the 13-year-old Antuán and 9-year-old Leonel are spending it in each other's company on the outskirts of a small province, where they live. They spend their afternoons going on excursions, engaging in boy talk and pillow fights, but at the end of the endless summer, Antuán is set to move to Havana. One can recognise much from one's own childhood and is reminded of much else in this deeply poetic and cinematic film, where the complexity of a friendship between children is captivatingly depicted. A visit to a rock cave during a thunderstorm is an overwhelming highlight of an already rich and all-encompassing sensory experience. Handheld, spontaneous and vital - and the physical materiality has the magical quality of the world seen through the eyes of the child. However, the realism of Cuban reality is never far away, nor is the age difference between the two friends. When the teasing gets too much for Leonel, he walks off alone into the big city, while his thoughts on religion, the future and the mysteries of adult life are revealed as an inner monologue on the soundtrack.