In 1989 Havana, Russian literature professor Malin gets a mysterious note at the university with orders from the government sending him to a local hospital, where he learns he is expected to act as translator between the Cuban doctors and the families of young patients from the Chernobyl disaster. Initially raging against his new role, Malin is forced to stay on, and he eventually becomes deeply devoted to his patients. But while he becomes “king of the kids” at the hospital, his relationships with his pregnant wife and young son suffer. Meanwhile, life around all of them shifts as the “Special Period”—the economic crisis in Cuba that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union—begins.
Rooted in the little-known true story of how twenty thousand Chernobyl victims were eventually treated in Cuba, Un Traductor immerses an emotional drama in crisply shot, beautifully realized period detail of Havana in 1989. Veteran actor Rodrigo Santoro brings dignity and charm to his performance as a good-hearted man in turmoil, and directors Rodrigo and Sebastián Barriuso, in their elegant feature debut, depict a tale at once historical and personal, all while demonstrating a truly impressive adeptness at their visual craft.
Part of Lafayette’s 2019 Ibero American Film Festival.
Free for all! No tickets required.