L A   L U C H A


A portrait of the Cuban struggle as seen through the lives of two boxers in Havana, one at the start of his career and the other at the bitter end. Through the intertwined narratives of 7-year-old Daniel and 45-year-old Evelio, we see an intimate expression of the Cuban people's drive and ambition hampered by the realities of living in a country that has been undergoing economic siege for the past 60 years.

Doc Short | 2019 | Cuba | 16:9 | 11m 26s


GENRE: Sports | Drama

DIR/DP/EDIT: Matthew Tan

PROD: Matthew Tan, Dylan Wang

CAST: Daniel Elia Suarez Reina, Evelio Padron Ferrier

MUSIC: "Nightsky" by Tracey Chattaway


In the spring of 2019, I had the fortunate opportunity of traveling to Cuba to make documentaries, and La Lucha is the product of this endeavor. With restricted internet access in the country, Cuban individuals find their day-to-day stories oft-overlooked especially in a global climate where macro concerns – such as trade and immigration – dominate international discourse. In Havana, I had the privilege of crossing paths with my two protagonists Daniel and Evelio, both of whom provide a human face in the wake of rising geo-political tensions between Cuba and the U.S. Their stories, I believe, will be valuable in generating new levels of understanding and empathy amongst American and international audiences alike.

As a citizen myself of a country little seen on the international stage, I see strongly the importance of shining a light upon untold local perspectives. Wary of my shortcomings as a filmmaker foreign to the local culture, La Lucha is my best attempt at faithfully portraying the Cuban experience. Paying great attention to the feelings and concerns of my subjects, whilst maintaining the film’s creative integrity, the final product is my impressionistic examination of the Cuban people’s ambitions hampered by the realities of living in an economically disrupted country.