New Film: Rigoberto López’s “Vuelos prohibidos” [Forbidden Flights]


Vuelos prohibidos [Forbidden Flights] directed by Rigoberto López (director of Roble de olor) premiered in Cuba in March 2015. According to Rolando Pérez Betancourt (Granma), the film—which stars singer Paulo Fernández Gallo and the Moroccan actress Sanâa Alaoui (with seasoned Cuban actors Daysi Granados, Mario Balmaseda, and Manuel Porto, among others)—was loosely based on Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour (1959).

Pérez Betancourt writes that Vuelos prohibidos is a modest but ambitious production, as it tries to show “everything” about Cuban reality, in this case, a panorama spanning from 1959 until today.

Diana Ferreiro (Cubadebate) writes:

The cancellation of flights from Paris, due to an unexpected storm, allows Mario and Monique to get acquainted and, like lovers in a hotel room, share their views of Havana, Cuba and life. Thus, under the title of Vuelos prohibidos [Forbidden Flights], filmmaker Rigoberto López returns to the big screen with a story that “wants to have an honest dialogue with our reality,” as he said at a press conference; at the same time, this film marks the film debut of popular singer Paulo Fernández Gallo in the leading role, alongside the Moroccan-born French actress Sanâa Alaoui.

Although most of the plot takes place in Paris, the process of filming in the French city took only 17 days, while the Cuban context shown in the film shows the marks that time and social processes have left on the city and its people, according to Julio Carranza, co-writer of the film.

The story, which they [López and Carranza] began writing 2007, is determined to show the contrasts of a country, spanning from the modernity of Vedado and Miramar, to the “other Havana,” because it is not a matter of sugarcoating reality, says the director, but rather to be honest with reality and our problems.

Vuelos prohibidos counted on the cinematography of Ángel Alderete, production by Danilo León and Omar de la Cruz, and original music by Miguel Núñez. [. . .]

For original articles (in Spanish), see,,, and

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