Caballos (Horses)

Directed by: Fabián Suárez

Cuba | 2015 | Drama | 95 min | Black & White

Spanish w/ English Subtitles



Sunday July 24 08:30 pm

Vancity Theatre


Inspired by the work of famed photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (most notably the cover artwork he shot of Patti Smith for her seminal album Horses), Cuban poet and playwright Fabián Suárez’s imaginative first feature revolves around the thwarted longings of a quartet of artists in Havana: an ambitious photographer, a gorgeous model, a sullen DJ, and a wealthy patron of the arts who is dying of AIDS. The four lost souls of Horses convene at an evening soirée, hosted by the affluent Salomón (Pablo Guevara), whose health is in quick decline. Introducing himself as “Mapplethorpe,” lonely, handsome photographer Robi (Carlos Alejandro Halley) invites a striking model/musician named Galaxia (Linnett Hernandez) to Salomón’s luxurious apartment, where Salomón’s unhappy boy-toy Jairo (Milton García, The Last Match) has been reduced to being a caretaker, due to Salomón’s lingering affections for Robi. Jealousy, curiosity, and seduction blend together in the overlapping, intertwining love triangles at the center of the film. Gorgeously filmed in black and white with a number of nods to Mapplethorpe—including its mischievous sense of humor—Horses touches on themes of post-revolutionary disillusionment and emigration as the film’s foursome contemplates leaving their native Cuba, whether through death, exile, becoming marginal, or simply disappearing. The film, coming on the cusp of a new era of cultural relations between the U.S. and Cuba, offers us an unusual, elliptical window onto our shared fascination with beauty and impermanence.

— Joe Bowman