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Strawberry & Chocolate (Fresa y Chocolate)

4.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: Spanish ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Diego, a cultivated, apolitical, sceptical young artist living in Havana initiates a friendship with fiercely communist homophobe David with the intention of seducing him. David, knowing this, allows the relationship to build so he can spy on a person he sees as aberrant and dangerous to the communist cause. Despite their conflicting sexualities and political ideologies the two slowly build a relationship out of their differences, proving that camaraderie and friendship can overcome the most divisive superficialities. An exploration into the seduction of the mind, Strawberry And Chocolate shows how politics can shape lives, opinions and relationships. Hugely controversial in Cuba even now, the film was the first to feature a gay man as the hero while openly criticising the Government and its widespread intolerance. It was this picture that started the dialogue that has only last year allowed Brokeback Mountain to be shown in Havana. Charming, nuanced, groundbreaking and thought provoking, Strawberry And Chocolate is a clear-cut declaration that even in spite of politics, love for your fellow man will always triumph if allowed to. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Berlin International Film Festival, Goya Awards, Oscar Academy Awards, Sundance Film Festival, ...Strawberry and Chocolate ( Fresa y chocolate ) ( Strawberry & Chocolate )

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jorge Perugorría, Mirta Ibarra, Vladimir Cruz, Francisco Gattorno, Joel Angelino
  • Directors: Juan Carlos Tabío, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
  • Producers: Strawberry and Chocolate ( Fresa y chocolate ) ( Strawberry & Chocolate ), Strawberry and Chocolate, Fresa y chocolate, Strawberry & Chocolate
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 104.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001QX014A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,048 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
STRAWBERRY AND CHOCOLATE
[Fresa y Chocolate]

(Cuba/Mexico/Spain - 1992)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Ultra-Stereo

Used as an unwitting pawn by his pro-revolutionary colleagues, naive student David (Vladmir Cruz) is encouraged to develop a platonic relationship with flamboyant gay artist Diego (Jorge Perugorria), whose political allegiances have fallen under suspicion. But as their friendship deepens, David is transformed by Diego's resistance to the Cuban regime, even as the forces of oppression begin to close around them.

Though based on a short story ('El Lobo, el Bosque y el Hombre Nuevo') by screenwriter Senel Paz which explores opposite ends of a political ideology, knowledge of recent Cuban history isn't a prerequisite for viewers of STRAWBERRY AND CHOCOLATE, a small gem from co-directors Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabio. Far from a mere political tract, this is a joyous celebration of life and non-conformity, distinguished by Perugorria's extraordinary performance as the camp but dignified Diego, who rejects his friend's unquestioning loyalty to the Cuban political system that is stifling their beloved homeland. Their budding relationship is complicated by Diego's unrequited love for David, depicted here with remarkable honesty and compassion, particularly for a mainstream film.

But it's their political differences which ultimately unite the two characters, even as Diego is forced to reap the whirlwind of his public defiance. Much of the narrative unfolds within Diego's crumbling apartment building, where David enjoys a liaison with flaky neighbor Nancy (Mirta Ibarra), who introduces the inexperienced student to the joys of sexual liberation!
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This is a favorite film, I've seen it 7 times or more. That it holds up to repeated viewing is a credit to the writer and director, as well as to the mesmerizing performance of Jorge Perrugoria. When I showed it to a non-Spanish speaking friend, he had to fumble for his popcorn, his eyes were positively glued to the subtitles.

Universal themes abound -- acceptance, the development of ethical conduct, finding fulfillment in the bonds forged between unlikely opposites, etc. This film functions both as food and entertainment.

I'll echo disappointment with Miramax' arrogance in arbitrarily editing this film. The awkward edits and transitions you'll experience in this edition are those of Miramax, and not of the filmmakers. What is more, the subtitles are at times inaccurate. Nevertheless, this DVD has the best image quality of any English subtitled edition currently available. An unedited Region2/PAL edition DVD is available from Spain, but apparently without English subtitles.

The full length unedited film is available on VHS in the Colleccion Cine Cubano series from I.C.A.I.C. (Institute of Cuban Cinematography), under the title "Fresa y Chocolate". The picture quality is not as good as the Miramax DVD. The perfect DVD edition of this film is yet to be produced.
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Format: DVD
I found this film in a bin at the library of the community college. The picture seemed a little too cute for my taste and the blubs, "Delightful! A Breezy Charmer" and "Funny!" didn't really grab me either. The only thing that signalled that it might be a film I'd like was Robert Redford's name on the bottom.

I'm glad I paid attention because I found this film to be nothing less than remarkable. The two opposing characters, one a flamboyant gay man with counter-revolutionary ideas and religious to boot is opposed to the young, earnest, militant university student and party loyalist. At first the gay guy comes across as despicable in his openly flagrant attempt to seduce the student. But as the film unfolds he rises above any stereotypes and emerges as a man of enormous dignity. His compassion for his neighbor, the local vigilante, is the first clue to his good heart.

The two men encounter each other with great honesty, (after the initial seduction attempt fails) and their conversations are wonderful. The addition of the female neighbor adds another element to the humanity of the story.

If you're visually oriented you'll love the shots of Diego's amazing apartment! I particularly liked the blue refrigerator whom he affectionately names Otto and scolds when it drips.

The blurbs on the cover have it all wrong. This is a serious, wonderfully intelligent, deeply human film that brings up and examines a number of important issues. Yes it does it in a charming, entertaining way, but this is no lightweight frolic.
It deserves to be more widely acknowledged and seen.
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Esta es una historia del amor más allá de las preferencias sexuales. Habla de la tolerancia y de la posibilidad de comunicarnos con cualquier otro ser humano, aunque no piense como nosotros. La recomiendo totalmente.
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A brilliant movie about homosexuality and communism, I've watched it a million times. One of the most famous and important Cuban movies of all times, as this marked a change in the way homosexuality was viewed in the country. If you are in the US you should get this version which is put out by Miramax and is good quality. Some of the international versions are pretty terrible when you try to play them on a US dvd. The movie is all the same, it's the format that's different.
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