La Habanera

Directed by Detlef Sierck shortly before he became Douglas Sirk, this Nazi-era vehicle (1937) for superstar Zarah Leander evokes the semiracist ambience of an Esther Williams-Fernando Lamas musical of the 50s. A Swedish woman falls for a Latin lover in tropical climes, but the fantasy sours as the heroine and her son begin to feel like prisoners. Kitschy fun, but not a patch on Final Accord, the masterpiece Sirk made in Germany the prior year. In German with subtitles. 98 min. (JR)

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