Behavior (Spanish: Conducta) is a 2014 Cuban drama film directed by Ernesto Daranas. In English writing, the film is usually referred to by the title Behavior. The film premiered in February 2014, and then played at the Málaga Film Festival before having its US premieres simultaneously at the Chicago Latino Film Festival and Havana Film Festival New York in April 2014. Behavior was then screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. It was selected as the Cuban entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, but was not nominated.
|Directed by||Ernesto Daranas|
|Produced by||Esther Masero, Isabel Prendes, Danilo León, Joel Ortega, Adriana Moya|
|Written by||Ernesto Daranas|
Armando Valdés Freire
|Music by||Juan Antonio Leyva Magda Rosa Galbán|
|Edited by||Pedro Suárez|
Ministerio de Cultura
Instituto Cubano del Arte y la Industria CinematográficosRTV Comercial
|Distributed by||Latido Films|
- Armando Valdés Freire as Chala
- Alina Rodríguez as Carmela
- Silvia Águila as Raquel
- Yuliet Cruz as Sonia (Chala's mother)
- Armando Miguel Gómez as Ignacio
- Amaly Junco as Yeni
- Miriel Cejas as Marta (substitute teacher)
- Idalmis García as Mercedes (school principal)
- Tomás Cao as Carlos (re-education school principal)
- Héctor Noas as Pablo (Yeni's father)
- Aramís Delgado as Consultant
- Yoan Angarica as Yoan (Chala's friend)
- Richard Andrade as Richard (Chala's friend)
- Cristian Guerra as Niño (Chala's rival)
- Roxana Pérez as María Paula (Yeni's friend)
- Roque Moreno as Policeman
- Anniet Forte as Mirta
In Cuba, reception was very favorable, from the audience as well from the critics. One critic commented: “With packed cinema halls and long lines to get tickets, [Behaviour’s] exhibition cycle promises to be long and could be of greater impact if the country didn’t have more of 85% of its cinema halls closed down or destroyed.”
The movie kindled an intense social debate and even the Ministry of Education eventually promoted its discussion in the schools. In several interviews, Daranas stated: “The educational system is just a pretext [in the film] to talk about issues which are inherent to most official institutions and not just in Cuba. Carmela’s classroom is a counterpoint to the state of things – perhaps a parable of a possible Cuba, a space were differences are respected, where everybody’s opinion counts and common sense rises above the handlings of bureaucrats and politics.”
Howard Feinstein, from Screen Daily, said: “In a film that has taken Cuba by storm and is in the midst of a streak of overseas awards, former documentarian Daranas smoothly pulls together dual journeys that might not otherwise intersect so credibly. […] Reception should be positive, with such pluses as first-rate performances, especially Daranas’s brilliant work with children, and an inventive script outweighing a few rough technical edges.”
Daniel Grivel, from Ciné-Feuilles, said: “Excellent in his direction of actors and with a fraternal gaze on his countrymen, Ernesto Daranas makes us the gift of a moving and positive tale.”
Dennis Harvey, in his review for Variety, said: “Daranas’ direction tamps down the script’s implicit moralizing and melodramatic elements by playing everything in an agreeably low-key, naturalistic tenor.”
Stephen Holden, from The New York Times, said: “The children, their teachers and their parents represent a lively cross-section of contemporary Cuban society.”
John DeFore, from Hollywood Reporter, commented: “Daranas' screenplay is sufficiently focused on the daily hassles of life in Cuba that uncertainties over the characters' fates rarely loom large enough to feel like plot devices; similarly, none of the performances seems calculated to draw our sympathy away from other characters. […] Some cast members' performances would look considerably better with just one or two adjustments to reaction shots; and administrative wrangling over Carmela's job goes on long enough that it threatens to throw the film's balance off. If it's uneven, though, the film benefits from its restrained portrayal of the tenderness between Chala and Carmela, who care for each other when family members who should cannot."
At the Málaga Spanish Film Festival, Behavior won the awards in the Latin American section for best film, best director, and best actress (Alina Rodriguez), as well as the audience award in that section.
The film was selected, by a commission of the Cuban Film Institute, to be Cuba's official submission for the Academy Awards (United States) and the Goya Awards (Spain). While not shortlisted for the Oscar, Behavior is nominated for the Goya Award for Best Latin American Film.
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- "Behavior (programme note)". Chicago Latino Film Festival. Archived from the original on 20 September 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Behavior (Conducta)". Indiewire. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
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- Howard Feinstein (13 April 2014). "Behaviour (review)". Screen Daily. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "TIFF Adds 'Clouds of Sils Maria' and 'Two Days, One Night,' Reveals 5 More Lineups". Indiewire. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- Harvey, Dennis. "Film Review: 'Behavior'". Variety. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
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- "Cuban Film "Conducta" Triumphs in Spain". Havana Times. 30 March 2014.
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- "15th Havana Film Festival NY announces Havana Star Prize winners at packed closing night ceremony" (Press release). Havana Film Festival New York. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Colombia's "Gente de bien" wins top prize at Lima Film Festival". Fox News Latino. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
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- "Cuba to Compete for the Oscar and Goya Awards with Conducta". Radio Havana Cuba.
- Pamela Rolfe (7 January 2015). "Spain's Goya Awards Unveils Nominations". Retrieved 8 January 2015.