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Rumba Love

USA / Cuba 2021
produced by
Zair Montes, Guillermo Iván, Olinka Dueñas, Josef Brandmaier (executive), Rafael Levy Micha (executive), Christian Tohmé Hernández (executive), Ilean Almaguer (executive), Salomon Levy (executive), Jorge Padilla (executive), Juan José Moreno Alcantara (executive), Maria Angélica Duenas Perez (executive), Fernando Orozco (executive), Hugo Casillas (executive), Osvaldo de León (executive) for Golden Ceiba Productions
directed by Guillermo Iván
starring Guillermo Iván, Ed Trucco, Zair Montes, Alfredo Diaz, Ariann Murad, Osvaldo de León, Ilean Almaguer, Mauricio Bustamante, Monte Bezell, Erin Fogel, Francesca Van Horne, Roberta Burns, Tim Shelburne, Michael Kingsbaker, Fernando Orozco, Hugo Casillas, Spencer Monaghan, Jim Boerlin, Camilo Miranda Alvarez
written by Guillermo Iván, inspired by the play Ellioko, music by Salomón Lerner

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Years ago, young Nicolas (Guillermo Iván) moved from his native New Jersey to his ancestral Cuba, to learn about his heritage, and especially to learn about Cuban music - and apparently he's a good learner as he proves to be a very talented rumba singer and musician in no time, thanks in large parts to his mentor Celso (Osvaldo de Léon). But ever since Celso has died, Nicolas has felt a bit uprooted in Cuba, so when a music producer (Alfredo Diaz) invites him to come over to New York City, he's more than happy to follow that calling, also because Celso has always dreamt of visiting New York one day. But New York doesn't turn out to be all its promised. First Nicolas learns that the music producer is a fraud, then he alienates Celso's wife Telmaris, whom he has had an affair with after Celso's death, by bringing Celso's ashes, then all his belongings are stolen from him, and with nowhere to stay he has to learn that even public parks don't have benches for just any bum. But then he stumbles into the Blue Bird, a club somehow connected to Celso's past, even if Celso has never been in New York City - and somehow the club and especially its owner Jim (Ed Trucco), change Nicolas' outlook on life forever ...


Now the first thing everyone will probably notice about this movie is its cool, rumba-heavy soundtrack that seems to require at least toe-tapping almost by definition - but that said, Rumba Love is more than just pretty pictures set to music, it tells a quite compelling story as well that really gets to one because it neither follows a romance nor a rags-to-riches formula but goes for complexity (even if some story elements are a bit far-fetched). And a very dynamic directorial effort that perfectly blends music and pictures in all the right moment make this a very watchable (and extremely listenable) movie for sure.

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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD