Unfinished Spaces (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Unfinished Spaces (2011)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Following their emotional exile from Cuba in 1965, three architects return forty years later to finish what was considered the world's most spectacular and futuristic art school, but was left to ruin by the country's Revolution. In 1961, three young, visionary architects were commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to create Cuba's National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Construction of their radical designs began immediately and the school's first classes soon followed. Dancers, musicians and artists from all over the country reveled in the beauty of the schools, but as the dream of the Revolution quickly became a reality, construction was abruptly halted and the architects and their designs were deemed irrelevant in the prevailing political climate. Forty years later the schools are in use, but remain unfinished and decaying...

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Critic Reviews for Unfinished Spaces

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

[A] fine, clear-eyed documentary about the art schools' fate.

Full Review… | December 14, 2011
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Cuban Communism doomed 5 modern wonders to ruin

Full Review… | November 3, 2011
Movie Habit

Audience Reviews for Unfinished Spaces

A fascinating journey from the optimistic, radical, utopian spirit that followed the Cuban revolution to disillusionment and repression as Soviet influence supplanted revolutionary ideals, as told through a lens focused on three architects and the five gorgeous, Modernisme-influenced National Art Schools they designed and partially built in Havana. Their creative, innovative style of architecture lost favor and became politically controversial as pre-fab Soviet functionalist/brutalist architecture became the order of the day, and the projects were abruptly abandoned before they were finished. Two of the three architects left Cuba as a result of their sudden stigmatization. A documentary about Cuban architecture may sound dry, but it is really quite interesting, aided in large part by the frequent appearance of the highly charismatic Ricardo Porro, a cheerful iconoclast & provocateur who designed two of the art schools, including one with domed Catalan vaults designed to evoke female breasts, as well an open papaya-shaped fountain that also evokes female anatomy. An elderly Fidel Castro also makes an appearance, making a bizarre and implausible series of excuses about why the projects were defunded desipte his claimed love for them.

Dan Alban
Dan Alban

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