Andy Garcia stars in, directs, and produces this highly personal movie, a lengthy tale about his native Cuba. THE LOST CITY, a labor of love that Garcia has attempted to film for almost 20 years, was penned by his writer friend, the Cuban exile Guillermo Cabrera Infante, who didn't live to see the film completed.
The film is set in Havana, where Garcia plays nightclub owner Fico Fellove, whose life revolves around the thriving scene that unfolds there on a nightly basis. But trouble looms when one of his brothers, Luis (Nestor Carbonell), is killed after a violent raid on the presidential palace.
Matters get worse as Fellove's other brother, Ricardo (Enrique Murciano), harboring revolutionary ideas in retaliation for Luis's death, heads out to join the forces gathered by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Meanwhile, Meyer Lansky (Dustin Hoffman), a tough American gangster, puts pressure on Fellove to sell his club and build a new one with mobster money.
In the course of the film, Garcia manages to create the sense that Cuba wasn't really better off before Castro's rise to power--or after.
The cast all give fine performances, and Bill Murray drops by to deliver his trademark dry wit as a droll character found among the patrons of Fellove's club. The film is a journey worth taking, as Infante's words are beautifully rendered by Garcia and his cast.