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Riviera Hotel

Documentary, 1998, 90 min.

In the fifties, Havana was the symbol of extravagance and glamour. Its heart was the Malecón, the boulevard where notorious American Mafiosi such as Meyer Lansky, Santo Trafficante and Lucky Luciano ran several hotels and casinos. Riviera Hotel is a documentary about Cuba in the latter years of the Castro era. It focuses on the Riviera Hotel, once the scene of parties, drinking and gambling by the Havana jet-set. Apart from Mafiosi, the guests included stars such as Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. In the film, several people including the new 'cycle guards', reminisce about the hotel's glorious and (in)famous past. It becomes clear that another reality is hidden behind a Cuba that at first sight looks so sensual and cheerful.

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