East of Havana (2007) "Cuban hip-hop" isn't a well-known subgenre, and El Cartel — a trio of rappers making unapproved music under the thumb of Castro — aren't exactly… 2007-02-02 Unrated PT82M Documentary Sony BMG
Movie Review

East of Havana (2007)

MPAA Rating: Unrated
East of Havana | HIGH FIDEL-ITY? In Havana , El Cartel could be kings of rap, but societal pressures interrupt its members' flow
HIGH FIDEL-ITY? In Havana, El Cartel could be kings of rap, but societal pressures interrupt its members' flow
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Limited Release: Feb 02, 2007; Rated: Unrated; Length: 82 Minutes; Genre: Documentary; Distributor: Sony BMG

''Cuban hip-hop'' isn't a well-known subgenre, and El Cartel — a trio of rappers making unapproved music under the thumb of Castro — aren't exactly the Wu-Tang Clan. In a more open society, this game but muted documentary suggests, Mikki Flow, Soandry, and Magyori would be superstars; yet superstardom (in the maximalist American sense) is something they distrust. East of Havana picks at these politico-philosophical threads rather than pulling them, and the sense of a larger movement is fleeting. There's a beat, but we never quite see who's dancing to it. B-

Originally posted Feb 02, 2007 Published in issue #921 Feb 16, 2007 Order article reprints