Skip to main content

3.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Rap is War
Directed by
Jesse Acevedo
Country
USA/Cuba
Language
Spanish

"This album will be the end of us," predicts the wildly popular underground Cuban rap duo Los Aldeanos, who deeply love their country but despise the regime. Banned from radio play in Cuba, these outspoken outlaw hip hop stars burn their own CDs and distribute them by bicycle on the streets of Havana; and take long, winding bus trips to play secret shows – that may be cancelled at the last minute by nervous promoters. The danger is real, as we learn in a clandestine interview with a devastated mother, whose two sons are in jail, she explains, for simply listening to their music. Shot by an anonymous camera operator, this powerful and brave documentary points the (often hidden) camera at ordinary, oppressed lives – people who cannot find eggs or tomatoes to buy, while a few miles away oblivious tourists are treated to the overabundance of the all-inclusive experience. As Los Aldeanos – and this film – make clear, life for many Cubans is no beach.

At VIFF: Sept. 27, 9:30 p.m., International Village; Oct. 1, 1:40 p.m., International Village; Oct. 10, 12:15 p.m., Cinematheque

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Western Arts Correspondent

Marsha Lederman is the Western Arts Correspondent for The Globe and Mail, based in Vancouver. She covers the film and television industry, visual art, literature, music, theatre, dance, cultural policy, and other related areas. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.