Transit HavanaPurchase Tickets
Winner of the “Best Human Rights Film” Award at the 2016 Verzio Film Festival in Budapest and similar honors throughout the world, director Daniel Abma’s Transit Havana is an eye-opening look at Cuba’s LGBTQ community and the long history of homophobia that has begun to melt away in the light of recent anti-discrimination campaigns. Specifically, we see three transgender individuals — Odette, Juani and Malú — who are awaiting sexual reassignment surgery, a procedure that will be funded by the Cuban government and carried out by Belgian and Dutch doctors making their annual trip to the island nation. Mariela Castro Espín, the director of the Havana-based National Center for Sex Education, is the daughter of Cuban president Raúl Castro, and her pledge to support governmental healthcare coverage for members of the trans community suggests that the socialist revolution of the past has expanded to accommodate the sexual revolution of the present. Although just over two dozen patients had received treatment by the time Abma’s camera started rolling, significantly more Cubans are encouraged by this sign of things to come, this indicator of more positive transformations in the body politic. The excitement of the moment is palpable, but so too is the desperation of those who remain on the waiting list for the much-coveted surgery and face opposition from their own family members. A profoundly personal examination of this political issue, Transit Havana is deserving of its many accolades.
– By David Scott Diffrient