• International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam IDFA

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Spanish with English subtitles

Uncle Ezequiel is serving a six-year prison sentence. What crime did this Cuban farmer commit? Answer: He sold his own cow.

Filmmaker Salvador Gieling can’t get his head around it. And if he can’t, how will Luca – his two-year-old son and Ezequiel’s nephew – ever understand it? So Salvador and his wife Belga travel to the heart of the Cuban countryside and undertake the almost impossible mission of explaining the story of his uncle Ezequiel to their son. Bit by bit, the film reveals how their struggles are connected to a greater history of Cuba and the question that keeps coming up: “What does freedom mean?”

Lessons for Luca is also an affectionate family portrait, framed by the captivating music of cellist Ernst Reijseger, whose melancholy melodies are interspersed with playful moments and scenes that highlight the joy and vitality of life.

About the Director
Director and cinematographer Salvador Gieling is a Dutch filmmaker and cinematographer who studied at the St. Lucas Art Academy in Brussels. He lived and worked in Brussels and Paris, making several short fiction and documentary films such as Where Crows Weep (2016). In 2019, he made his feature-length debut as a co-director and cinematographer with the documentary The Death of Antonio Sanchez Lomas, which premiered at IDFA Amsterdam and was selected for the IDFA competition.

Recently, he finished the feature-length documentary Lessons for Luca, which was shot in Cuba.