Flags / Claudia Cadelo

To catch the pulse of reality is hard, and to portray that rhythm in a short film of less than an hour is even more so. However, Eduardo del Llano not only does it, he makes you laugh over what you would normally mourn. I see his work and wonder how it is possible that I don’t laugh all day, surrounded as I am by characters like Nicanor and Rodriguez. That is, of course, one of the delightful charms of film.

In “Aché,” one of his latest productions, a couple debate the social advantage of having a Cuban flag hanging from the balcony. The film has everything, from a guy who claims to have learned to be a communist because Ernesto Guevara loaned him a tire wrench, to the mistress of a deputy minister who seems to have an infinite supply of Cuban flags purchased abroad. The story develops in the seventies and, except for the flag hanger, could be Havana in 2011. The whole plot is connected by the hilarious desire of the protagonist to get approval to go to France on a scholarship.

With excellent performances by Luis Alberto Garcia as the likable Nicanor, Néstor Jiménez as the rigid Rodríguez, and Laura de la Uz as the reading teacher who “is still there,” it returns to the task of these sagas which is to cheer us up a little in our existence in this country that, in the words of Rodríguez, is one for all: it’s yours and, according the Nicanor, “that” must be grasped in moderation.