Johan Nijenhuis noticed during recording in Cuba “the power of dictatorship’

The latest romantic comedy fall in Love with Cuba, on February 14, released, tells the story of Abbey (19) which her mother calls that she is getting married in Cuba. Director Johan Nijenhuis about the shooting on the communist island: “The dictatorship is still very powerful”.

According to Nijenhuis was Cuba, roughly seven thousand kilometers and ten hours of Amsterdam removed, the perfect place for “a good big screen entertainment, that, according to him, a big feelgoedfactor must contain”. “Now all you have to look outside, and you understand that a sunny location is good, it helps to be able to enjoy a movie.”

At the same time tell the idyllic landscapes are not the whole story of Cuba. For example, there is the 2018, with major economic and social problems, and has the island – by the great power of the army and ex-president Raúl Castro – is still dealing with a communist regime. “The supervision is strict. The powers that be to check exactly what is in and out of, and what is going on in the country,” says Nijenhuis.

Cuba differs in so strongly from the democratic Netherlands. Exactly that has caught the attention of the director. “We were looking for a story that will have viewers on edge.”


Trailer in Love with Cuba

“Regime-Castro is not happy with criticism’

The script was for the film to be submitted to the local Cuban government, which then two scenes rejected. “The regime of Castro is not happy with too much criticism. So we have later a scene with Castro-parody recorded on Ibiza,” says the director.

The great power of the army in Cuba, it appeared during the run. “We could make an appointment about the filming of a big scene, but as the general of the army unexpectedly there along wanted to drive, you permit for the day of admission simply withdrawn.”

Despite the intervention of the Cuban leaders, according to Nijenhuis succeeded to the culture of the island by hinting in the film. With the “Castro propaganda”. “In every house in Cuba is a portrait of Castro as a decoration, so that we have taken. But in an airy way. So Loes in the film for lonely moments to talk with a painting of the former president to the wall.”

“My sister is married to an American’

The storyline – or in any case a part of falling in Love with Cuba does Nijenhuis think of an event in his own life. “My sister is years ago married an American. I saw my father at one point crying because she was much missed. When I understood for the first time, how it feels when your child is in a different continent.”

Would Nijenhuis with his own daughter, then just as responsive as the mother Loes in the movie, that directly her bags picks and to Cuba flies? “Well if my daughter is the same age as the 19-year-old Abbey I think. At the same time, think Loes that her child can send, and the film is primarily a story about learning to let go.”

‘Taste public is not the same as that of the reviewers’

Looking at the success of Nijenhuis’ previous films, is the hand that also fell in Love with Cuba, a hit. As he received the first Dutch film director five Platinum Films for Full moon (2003) and Tuscan Wedding (2014).

The romantic comedies of Nijenhuis are generally so well attended. This is, however, not always with the reviews of his films, which is flat and unbelievable, as well as tame and predictable, and a bit too.

How explains Nijenhuis, this difference itself? “The taste of the audience is not the same as that of reviewers, who often have a very intellectual approach to films. That is for a small of the public is quite interesting, but I love myself more of cinema as entertainment. It’s yet to be a film a certain feeling is evoked. That is essentially a different flavor.”

Fall in love with Cuba from February 14 to see in the cinemas.

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