OUR HOUSE IN HAVANA follows the emotionally charged return trip of Silvia Morini, a vivacious 68 year old Cuban, who after 38 years living in the U.S.A., decides to return to Cuba to search for the house, the neighborhood and the faded remains of her once-opulent, privileged life. Silvia's pilgrimage is full of discoveries, engaging interactions, and personal confrontations, which carry her from exhilaration to depression, and, ultimately, in a surprising twist, to an astounding personal transformation. OUR HOUSE IN HAVANA is an intimate, thought-provoking cinematic journey, seasoned with Cuban history, culture, music and passion.
Producer/Director: Stephen Olsson
Co-Producer: Carolyn Zaff
"Sylvia Morini, a vivacious and youthful 68 year-old Cuban exile, returns to her homeland from the US for the first time in nearly 40 years in “Our House in Havana”. Morini is wonderfully direct, her face a spectrum of strong emotion throughout the film. But what makes Our House in Havana unforgettable is that this often-blinkered woman is merely stuck in the past, not permanently imprisoned by it. She is permeable to experience: to the easy warmth and dignity of the people she encounters, and especially to the intensity of Cuban culture. She experiences a deeply shared sense of Cuban-ness that is beyond politics, “Our House in Havana” is a subtle, moving and surprisingly artful account of Silvia Morini’s changing perceptions. This is a satisfying and thought-provoking film, and further evidence that the quality nonfiction fare to be found on PBS and a few cable outlets, is perhaps the best and most engrossing television there is today." The Boston Globe: by John Koch
"Ralph Waldo Emerson said one man’s biography is that of a culture’s, and this film is substantial proof. Substitute one woman’s life for that of a man’s and make the culture Cuban, and Emerson’s words jump to life. This insightful documentary about one woman who returns to Cuba after years of exile is mesmerizing. “Our House in Havana” turns out to be a savvy inside view of the conditions of modern Cuba as well as a history lesson and an evenly told story about a subject that is a political hotbed." The Hollywood Reporter: by Marilyn Moss
“Our House in Havana, is an impressive achievement. Within the limited space of one hour, and with his attention tightly focused on one 68-year-oldwoman and the disconnect between her nostalgia and the reality she encounters, Producer/Director Stephen Olsson manages to produce a remarkably complete sketch of life in Cuba today. Our House manages to touch on one of the central features of modern Cuban society, the generation gap. But the real subject of the film is Morini's personal transformation. By the time she returns to the United States, her view of U.S.-Cuban relations has radically changed. Formerly a staunch supporter of the U.S. trade embargo, she begins to lobby the White House and key senators such as Jesse Helms to end the embargo altogether--not because of any sudden love for Castro or his revolution but because she believes more contact and exchange will only be good for both societies. Given the current moves in Congress to weaken the embargo, “Our House in Havana” is a welcome, if idiosyncratic, contribution to the debate." The Washington Post: by Eugene Robinson
“Our House in Havana is the stuff of great theater. Aside from the multiplepoints of view presented in this remarkable little movie, one can’t help but be impressed by the sights and sounds of Cuba throughout the film, the music, the dancing and the lively people. Our House in Havana is compelling. Morini is the heart and soul of the film. She is exceptional; even amid her nostalgic wanderings, her mind remains open to the beauties and humanity that remain in Cuba. “Our House in Havana” is an unforgettable journey and unlike much of the mindless reality TV that’s on the networks today, Our House in Havana really does deserve the distinction of “appointment television”. " The Austin Chronicle: by Jeanne Jakle
Best Director Award, San Juan Cinemafest
Nationally broadcast on PBS (POV), Canadian CBC, Canal+, Spanish, Swedish SVT, Portuguese, Dutch IKON, NHK, Polish and other foreign networks.