Improper Conduct

Written and directed by Cuban exiles Nestor Almendros and Orlando Jimenez-Leal, this documentary amasses a lot of talking-heads testimony to human rights violations by the Castro government. The chief target of oppression seems to be Cuba’s gay population, which proves—if any proof were needed—that Marxism doesn’t cancel out machismo. Though the film is more than enough to shake whatever romantic notions of Cuba you may be harboring, the filmmakers’ reliance on unsupported interview material and the rather awkward, undramatic structure of their argument severely compromise the project. Neither extreme enough to make good propaganda (if such a thing exists), nor reasoned enough to qualify as good reportage, the film barely seems to have earned the storm of controversy that surrounded it. (JR)

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