Life Is to Whistle tells the stories of three end-of-the millennium Cubans, whose lives intersect on the Day of Santa Barbara (the African Saint Chango, ruler of destinies). Mariana, a ballerina, ponders breaking chastity vows she made to land the coveted role of Giselle; Julia has fainting spells each time she hears the word "sex," and Elpidio, a musician, seduces a gringa tourist while Bebe, the narrator, takes us for a taxi ride along the streets of Havana. In Life Is to Whistle, Fernando Perez displays the same cinematographic lyricism that won his first film, Madagascar, the Special Recognition in Latin American Cinema award at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. Set to the music of Bola de Nieve and Benny More, the film dazzles us with a uniquely Cuban blend of absurdist humor and mystical realism. Perez, who began his film career as assistant director to Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Santiago Alvarez, stands apart from his Cuban counterparts for his ability to portray human dilemmas in quirky, unpredictable ways. Perez gives the jaded lives of his characters a new significance through his whimsical, exuberant vision.
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