Built in 1926 in Havana, Cuba, Hotel Nueva Isla was then a sensationally famous, only to become a ruin now. Hotel Nueva Isla portrays the last residents of the hotel, which provides shelter to homeless people. Nobody but Jorge takes care of the hotel building now. This scrawny old man breaks the floors or walls, collects the debris or repairs broken lights.
Just as Sisyphus pushing the heavy rock upward ceaselessly, this old man’s desperate efforts to prolong the life of the hotel could be seen as a meaningless labor. Realizing that it is impossible to turn back time, people around Jorge start to leave the hotel one after another. Despite their advice, Jorge chooses to remain at the hotel with his dog.
The hotel is the only background in this film and is simultaneously described as an independent character. The camera of Javier Labrador, who was credited as a co-director, instills into the ruined hotel building a beautiful and mystical spirit.
Irene Gutierrez, the director, wanders across the boundary of documentary and fiction, allowing the filming process itself to become a film. This poetic film asks the audience to rediscover the beauty of what the world defines as meaningless and obsolete. It was dedicated to Jorge, who died in 2013.
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