Past Film/Video | Classics

Strawberry and Chocolate

(Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1993) 

Preceded by The Art of Tobacco (El arte del tobaco, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1974)

Two men stand facing eachother holding drinks in a room with many framed pictures on the wall.

The personal and political lives of two young men collide in this late-career gem from Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.

Set in Havana in the late 1970s, Strawberry and Chocolate follows the evolving relationship between David, an avid but naïve Castro supporter, and Diego, an outgoing, gay, antiestablishment artist. David is encouraged to spy on Diego (just being gay in communist Cuba could lead to incarceration), while Diego teaches David about art and literature and the repression of gay people by the government David supports. As their friendship deepens, social and governmental forces beyond their control begin to close in around them. Strawberry and Chocolate was the first Cuban entry to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In Spanish with English subtitles. (110 mins., 2K DCP)

The screening is preceded by Alea’s short documentary film The Art of Tobacco, a look at artwork used to promote Cuba’s famous cigars. (6 mins. 40 secs., 2K DCP)

See the entire Tomás Gutiérrez Alea lineup.

Strawberry and Chocolate, courtesy of Cohen Film Collection.

"Nothing unfolds as we expect. Strawberry and Chocolate is not a movie about the seduction of a body, but about the seduction of a mind."

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More about the filmmaker

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea chevron-down chevron-up

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (1928–1996) wrote and directed more than 20 features, documentaries, and short films throughout his life. Steeped in film history during his studies at Rome’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Gutiérrez Alea pays homage in his films to the greats who inspired him, including Charlie Chaplin and Luis Buñuel. Following the Cuban revolution in 1959, and with the support of the Castro regime, he and a group of other young filmmakers founded the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC). The collective advocated for film as an art form and as the best method of disseminating revolutionary ideals to the masses. Ever dedicated to the revolution, his films nonetheless deftly critique the social, economic, and political realities of life in Cuba. 

2K digitization completed at New Art (Mexico), with color correction and 5.1 sound remix done at Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industrias Cinematográficos.

Copromotional support provided by Ohio State's Center for Latin American Studies.

National Endowment for the Arts 
Ohio Humanities

Rohauer Collection Foundation

Ohio Department of Development
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Wexner Family 
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Ohio Arts Council, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts 
Ohio State’s Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme 
The Columbus Foundation 
Axium Packaging 
Nationwide Foundation 
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

Mike and Paige Crane 
Nancy Kramer 
Ohio State Energy Partners 
Ohio History Fund/Ohio History Connection 
Larry and Donna James 
David Crane and Elizabeth Dang 
Bruce and Joy Soll 
Rebecca Perry Damsen and Ben Towle 
Jones Day 
Alex and Renée Shumate


Past Film/Video

Strawberry and Chocolate