Drag racing in Havana: Car club co-sponsors film to be shown at festival | TheUnion.com
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Drag racing in Havana: Car club co-sponsors film to be shown at festival

Racer Carlos Alvarez is featured in Havana Motor Club, showing Saturday at the Nevada City Film festival.
Submitted photo |

KNOW & GO

WHO: Havana Motor Club at 16th Annual Nevada City Film Festival

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad St., Nevada City

TICKETS: Tickets $10 GA/$8 Student & NCFF Members for individual screenings, Advance tickets available online at http://www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com, by phone at (530) 362-8601, and in person at NCFF Box Office at Miners Foundry, 325 Spring St., Nevada City

In the critically acclaimed, feature-length documentary Havana Motor Club, change is racing down the streets of Havana, where Cuba’s top underground drag racers struggle to prepare their classic hot rods for the first official car race since the Revolution.

Havana Motor Club, directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, is one of the 60 films screening at the 16th annual Nevada City Film Festival over the weekend.

The film follows the compelling first person accounts of racers Tito, Rey, Jote, Piti and Carlos. It also tackles how Cuba’s recent reforms — the owning of property, allowance of small businesses, and greater exchange between Cubans, Cuban Americans, tourists, and other foreigners — have affected the lives of these racers and their families.



Carlos enlists the help of a Cuban American patron in Miami to bring in parts for his modern Porsche. His main competitor is a renowned mechanic who uses ingenuity rather than resources to create a racing machine out of his 1955 Chevy Bel Air.

Another racer ponders whether he will participate in the race or sell his motor — one that he recovered on the ocean floor from a ship used to smuggle Cubans off the island — in order to flee Cuba on a raft headed to Florida.




Meanwhile, the race itself is in jeopardy of coming to fruition due to factors ranging from its status as an elitist sport to the arrival of the Pope in Cuba.

Through the experiences of these racers and their community, Havana Motor Club explores how Cuba is changing today, and also what its future holds in light of President Obama’s recent move to normalize relations with the island nation.

Co-sponsored with the Roamin Angels Car Club, the Nevada City Film Festival has flown the film’s editor Armando Croda, and racer Carlos Alvarez in for a question and answer segment following the film. They have also organized for a mini car show to be on display outside the Nevada Theatre on Broad Street for festival-goers to see some of the cars in the film up close and personal.

“Classic cars bring us together and cut across cultural and language boundaries like very few subjects,” explains Mike Hauser, of the Roamin Angels. “We have much more in common than not, because of these cars.”


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