Havana Motor Club (2016)



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HAVANA MOTOR CLUB tells a personal, character-driven story about Cuba's vibrant community of underground drag racers and their quest to hold Cuba's first official car race since shortly after the 1959 Revolution. It tackles how Cuba's recent reforms - the owning of property, allowance of small businesses, and greater exchange between Cubans, Cuban Americans, tourists, and other foreigners - have affected the lives of these racers and their families. One racer enlists the help of a Cuban American patron in Miami to bring in parts for his modern Porsche. His main competitor is a renowned mechanic who uses ingenuity rather than resources to create a racing machine out of his father's 1955 Chevy Bel Air. Another racer ponders whether he will participate in the race or sell his motor - one that he recovered on the ocean floor from a ship used to smuggle Cubans off the island - in order to flee Cuba on a raft headed to Florida. Meanwhile, the race itself is in jeopardy of coming to fruition due to factors ranging from its status as an elitist sport to the arrival of the Pope in Cuba. Through the experiences of these racers and their community, HAVANA MOTOR CLUB explores how Cuba is changing today and what its future holds in light of the Obama Administration's recent move to normalize relations with the island nation.

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Critic Reviews for Havana Motor Club

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

It might have been more effective as a short film. Still, car aficionados, and anyone interested in the political and social changes in Cuba that will be hastened by the restored relations with the U.S., will find much to appreciate here.

Apr 14, 2016 | Full Review…

"Havana Motor Club" gives moviegoers a nicely turned street-level view of what imminent change means to these particular children of the Revolution.

Apr 7, 2016 | Full Review…

Mr. Perlmutt ultimately shows that for these drivers, car culture runs deeper than simply winning or losing a race.

Apr 7, 2016 | Full Review…

The camera looks lovingly at the Fifties American muscle cars while also capturing the enthusiasm and hope in these men's stories.

Apr 5, 2016 | Full Review…

A vastly entertaining documentary about the underground drag racing scene in Cuba that is also about as informative a take on the social and economic reforms being pushed by Raul Castro as you can find anywhere.

Apr 8, 2016 | Full Review…

Perlmutt really knows his stuff and effortlessly evokes the iconic movie imagery that evolved to show these automobiles at their best.

Apr 7, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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