Fresh-faced hairdresser Jesus (Héctor Medina) holds onto dreams of singing in the spotlight of a drag club. On a lark, he auditions for the head of the club's talent roster, Mama (Luis Alberto García), who gives him a shot at decent money and building his stage persona as Viva. Just as things seem to be looking up, his long-lost boxer father Angel (Jorge Perugorría, one of the stars of Fresa y Chocolate) reappears a broken and angry man. Since the two both have claims to Jesus’ home, they must figure out a way to survive each other’s egos and Angel’s homophobia before it’s too late for reconciliation.
Outsider filmmakers often bring to their work an outsider's curiosity. Here, the imagery is gorgeous, as the lens stares at what most inhabitants don’t blink twice
As impressive as it looks, the melodrama is uncertain, like a worn-down car chugging along the streets of Centro Habana. Jesus is almost a tragic gay figure, from his job (hairdresser) to his dream (drag performer). The young actor portraying him either isn’t able or wasn’t given enough room to show the character's growth, and Mark O'Halloran's script only briefly touches on key aspects of Cuban culture that would shape Jesus' life, like machismo and the shortages of food and housing.
Both Angel’s and Jesus’ personae are performances. One is a short-fuse tough guy looking for every chance to prove his strength after age and health have robbed him of the ring. The younger man is only beginning to discover and assert himself in the pecking order of a drag club. Both are rejected by society at