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Mauvaise conduite
Mauvaise conduite (1984)
  • Director:
    Néstor Almendros,Orlando Jiménez Leal
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Néstor Almendros
  • Cast:
    Lorenzo Monreal,Jorge Lago,Julio Medina
  • Time:
    1h 52min
  • Year:
An examination of Cuba's "moral purges" that began in 1964 with UMAP camps for those suspected of or found guilty of "improper conduct." Key moments brought outside attention to these policies: the defection of ballet dancers in Paris in 1966, a 48-hour period in 1980 when more than 11,000 Cubans sought asylum in Havana's Peruvian embassy, and the brief detention of writer Virgilio Piñera. Interviews with exiles take up most of the film as they tell their stories and ponder the Castro government's arrest and detention of persons with effeminate mannerisms: what the state calls "extravagant behavior." In essence, the film exposes the Cuban state's homophobic, petit bourgeois nature.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Lorenzo Monreal Lorenzo Monreal - Himself
Jorge Lago Jorge Lago - Himself
Julio Medina Julio Medina - Himself
César Bermudez César Bermudez - Himself
José Mario José Mario - Himself
Rafael De Palet Rafael De Palet - Himself
Jorge Ronet Jorge Ronet - Himself
Héctor Aldao Héctor Aldao - Himself
Jaime Bellachasse Jaime Bellachasse - Himself
Mireya Robles Mireya Robles
Luís Lazo Luís Lazo - Himself
Caracol Caracol
Reynaldo Arenas Reynaldo Arenas - Himself
Abreu Abreu Abreu Abreu
Gilberto Rujiz Gilberto Rujiz - Himself

Mauvaise conduite (1984)
This memorable documentary by the late Nestor Almendros mostly chronicles the vicious persecution of intellectuals and gays from the beginning of the Cuban "Revolution" until the early '80's. Particularly shocking are the description of concentration camps for gays, and the use of electro shock treatment for "conversion" to heterosexuality. This is one horrifying document of the inhumane treatment prevalent in Fidel Castro's Cuba.
Strong, if heavy handed documentary about Castro's horrific mistreatment of gay Cubans.

Always interesting, but somehow not as powerful as it might be. Maybe because it's too sure of it's own POV. There's no pretense of balance or questioning of the claims made by victims. While I have no doubt of their honesty, it doesn't feel like the film is interested in doing more than proving it's point with talking heads recounting stories..

Also, its focus seems to drift at times, into more generic, general Castro bashing, which is less effective, and starts to undermine the power of the specific arguments being made here.