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Ticket to Paradise

In 1993 Cuba, as a severe economic crisis rages, Eunice runs away from her small town and her sexually aggressive father. With nowhere to go, she joins up with a group of homeless teens hitchhiking to Havana. Eunice feels an instant connection to charismatic ringleader Alejandro. But her damaged past and his preoccupation with his dead-end existence stand in the way. Desperate, with no opportunities to improve their lives, the two consider taking extreme measures to reach an unlikely paradise.

Gerardo Chijona Valdes returns to Sundance with a film of heartbreaking intensity and rattling sensuality, filled with striking performances from a talented young cast. With a genuine affection for its lost-souled protagonists and tapping into the raw frustration endured during this period of Cuban history, Ticket to Paradise captures the drive toward hope in the face of utter despair, even when it leads to an unsettling and twisted place. [Synopsis courtesy of the Sundance Institute]


Jesus is a hairdresser for a troupe of drag performers in Havana, but dreams of being a performer. When he finally gets his chance to be on stage, a stranger emerges from the crowd and punches him in the face. The stranger is his father Angel, a former boxer, who has been absent from his life for 15 years. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, Viva becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand one another and become a family again.