Jenn Díaz On:
Cohiba by Lucía Puenzo
In the story before us, which takes place against the backdrop of the Havana Film Festival, the Maestro Gabriel García Márquez asks the storyteller and the rest of the students in his writing workshop to present him with a “big idea.” And this is precisely what Lucia Puenzo does. From the very first line, the story grabs the reader and doesn’t release its grip until the last word. The events that take place are not pleasant; on the contrary, the encounter between the student and the mysterious man is crude and perverted. Crude and perverted are also the Brazilian’s decision that the secret Cohiba is hiding is less important than the interest she finds in him, and the sense of danger that engulfs the entire story: it doesn’t matter what we will discover in the end of the story, it doesn’t matter how the Brazilian will find an ending to her banal story. The fact that Lucia Puenzo is a screenwriter is not surprising, as she relays information to the reader in a way that he never knows what’s waiting for him around the next corner. The opening scene renders the impression that the storyteller is about to present us with another story about abuse, but she goes even further. The story about Cohiba is the story we would not want to read, the story we would rather believe was not based on reality, and furthermore, it is also the nightmare of so many women. The plot unfolds at a pace of a chase, but at the very beginning, without us noticing, the hunter had already caught his prey.