ON THE STARTING LINE
La arrancada

Cuba/Brazil/France, 2019
Director: Aldemar Matias

Spanish with English subtitles | 63 min
New Directors

Preceded by THE WOODLAND
Thursday, August 29 | 5 PM | Cinematheque
Sunday, September 1 | 12:30 PM | Cinematheque

Cuba is a country in transition. Jenniffer, an aspiring national athlete in her early twenties, lives with her mother Marbelis and brother Yeyo; her father is in prison. Marbelis works for the government disinfection department; she wears herself out for her children and supports her daughter’s athletics career more than just financially. However, Jenniffer is currently nursing an injury and is considering quitting the sport. On the Starting Line captures Jenniffer’s life in an unassuming, almost casual way, documenting her loving relationship with her worried mother, her close bond to her brother who is planning to leave the country, her conversations with friends about their complex feelings for Cuba, and her training on the sports field. A quietly subtle and sensitive portrait of a family and a shifting nation. —Berlinale

Jenniffer es una joven deportista que cuestiona su carrera como atleta nacional en Cuba. Su madre, Marbelis, es la jefa de un centro público de fumigación en el centro de La Habana. Mientras su hermano se está preparando para salir del país, Jenniffer lucha por encontrar su lugar. Esta íntima crónica familiar, vista desde la perspectiva de dos mujeres, despliega el retrato de una generación insegura de lo que vendrá en Cuba.


With skilled but unobtrusive direction and cinematography, and non-actors so at ease with the camera that it seems non-existent, the effect is stunningly real. An affectionate portrayal of a family’s experience of a culture in transition, “La arrancada” presents a poignant, thought-provoking insight into Cuban life. —Catherine Sedgwick, The Upcoming

Filmography: El enemigo (2015), Años de luz (2014)