On a recent family visit to Belgium, I noticed this movie was playing in the theatre. I had never heard of the movie, and it certainly hasn't gotten any publicity of any kind in the US, but the little info that I knew of it was enough for me to take a chance on this. Am I glad I did!
"7 Days in Havana" (2012 Spanish/French/Cuban co-production; 129 min.) brings 7 seemingly independent short fims. brought by 7 different directors, each protraying a different day of the week. The first story, "El Yuma" is likely to get the most attention as it stars Josh Hutcherson (of The Hunger Games) and also marks the directorial debut of Benicio Del Toro, but honestly, as okay and superficially fun this story is, it pales with the rest of the movie and for me is probably thte weakest of the entire bunch. "Jam Session" is what you think it might be: a story culminating into Cuban musicians jamming until the wee hours of the night, just great. "La Tentation de Cecilia" (The Temptation of Cecilia) is a cleaver story about a young female singer tempted to take an offer to sing in Europe. Cecilia is in fact the only character who returns later in the movie in another chapter (hence my reference to "seemingly independent" earlier). As the movie goes on, the stories becomes more and more left-of-center and somehow getting better and better. My favorite piece is the very last one "La Fuente" (The Source), which brings it all home: the people, the poverty, the cohesiveness, the music.
I really enjoyed this movie a lot more than I expected to. There are many observations of the life ordinary in Havana which you can laugh or cry at, but will not leave you unmoved. And as mentioned before, the music is hugely important in this film, so if you are not a music fan, this probably isn't for you. If on the other hand you enjoyt a good foreign movie with intruiging characters and great music, then this is surely for you. "7 Days in Havana" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!