Before Night Falls

Before Night Falls is a wonderful film based on the life of Cuban writer and poet, Reinaldo Arenas. Arenas is played by the Oscar Nominated Javier Bardem. The movie spans the whole of Arenas' life. The film begins by showing us the Cuban village where Reinaldo Arenas was born. We bear witness to the intense poverty he lives in while growing up, and the unusually distant relationship he has with his mother. As he becomes a young man in the 1950's, he falls victim to the oppressive Cuban government. He is persecuted for his writing and for being homosexual. He remains courageous against the oppression, and continues writing even while he is imprisoned. The Cuban government finally releases him, and allows him to emigrate to New York City in 1980. There he lives and writes until he loses his battle with AIDS. Sean Penn has a cameo appearance in this movie as a peasant, and Johnny Depp adds a couple cameo appearances as well. He plays a military officer, and a drag queen. This is definitely a movie to add to your "must see" list! The official FFG rating of this film is a 9.