• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

“The King of Havana” is a Spanish-language drama film set in the streets of Havana, Cuba. The story follows Reinaldo, a young and reckless teenager who struggles to survive in the impoverished and decaying city. After being released from a correctional facility, Reinaldo finds himself homeless and desperate for money. He becomes involved with the colorful and dangerous characters of Havana's underground world, including his newfound friend, Magda, a prostitute with dreams of escaping the city. Together, they navigate the harsh realities of poverty, prostitution, and survival in an unforgiving environment.


“The King of Havana” received generally positive reviews from critics for its gritty portrayal of Havana's underbelly and its compelling performances. The film was praised for its raw and realistic depiction of the characters' lives, capturing the despair and desperation of the city's inhabitants. Director Agustí Villaronga's direction was commended for its unflinching and atmospheric portrayal of the setting, showcasing the stark contrast between the vibrant culture and the harsh conditions of the characters' lives.

The performances, particularly by the young actors Maikol David and , were highly acclaimed, with critics praising their authenticity and emotional depth. The film's exploration of themes such as poverty, survival, and the loss of innocence resonated with audiences and added to its impact.


Reinaldo, a 14-year-old boy, is released from a correctional facility in Havana, Cuba, and finds himself without a place to live. With no family support, he navigates the streets of Havana, becoming acquainted with the city's seedy underbelly. He meets Magda, a prostitute who takes him in and becomes his companion.
Reinaldo and Magda struggle to make ends meet, engaging in petty crimes and surviving through prostitution and other illicit activities. Despite the harsh realities of their lives, they dream of a better future and hope to escape the poverty and despair of Havana. As they form a bond and confront their circumstances, they discover that survival often comes at a steep price.


“The King of Havana” received several awards and nominations at various film festivals. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the San Sebastián International Film Festival and the Best Film Award at the Havana Film Festival. Additionally, received the Best Actress award at the Málaga Spanish Film Festival for her portrayal of Magda.


While “The King of Havana” did not achieve widespread popularity on an international scale, it received critical acclaim within the festival circuit and garnered a dedicated following among cinephiles and fans of arthouse cinema. The film's honest depiction of Havana's social issues and its exploration of human resilience resonated with audiences who appreciate thought-provoking and emotionally impactful storytelling.


Spanish El rey de La Habana
Directed by Agustí Villaronga
Screenplay by Agustí Villaronga
Based on El rey de La Habana
by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez
Produced by Luisa Matienzo
Cinematography Josep Mª Civit
Edited by Raúl Román
Music by Joan Valent
Distributed by Filmax (es)
Release dates
  • 23 September 2015 (San Sebastián)
  • 16 October 2015 (Spain)
  • Spain
  • Dominican Republic
Language Spanish


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