Before Night Falls (2001)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 13 mins

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This hard-hitting biographical drama delves into the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), from his childhood in Oriente province to his death in New York City. He joins Castro's rebels. By 1964, he is in Havana. He meets the wealthy Pepe, an early lover; a love-hate relationship lasts for years. Openly gay behavior is a way to spite the government. His writing and homosexuality get him into trouble: he spends two years in prison, writing letters for other inmates and smuggling out a novel. He befriends Lázaro Gomes Garriles, with whom he lives stateless and in poverty in Manhattan after leaving Cuba in the Mariel boat-lift. When asked why he writes, he replies cheerfully, "Revenge."
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Did you know? The screenplay is based on the autobiography of the same name of Reinaldo Arenas, which was published in English in 1993. Read More
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as Bon Bon / Lieutenant Victor
as Lolin
as Pepe Malas
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
as Carlos
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
as Virgilio Piñera
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
as Heberto Zorilla Ochoa
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor
as Reinaldo's Grandfather
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor


First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director


Production Company
Associate Producer




Story Writer
Dialogue Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography
Steadicam Operator
Key Grip


Music Director
Music Editor


Sound Effects Editor
Foley Artist
Sound Re-recording Mixer


Art Director
Production Designer
Prop Master
Set Decorator


Casting Director
Extras Casting

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Associate Editor
First Assistant Editor
Assistant Editor

Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist
Hair Stylist

Special Effects

Special Effects Coordinator

Visual Effects

Visual Effects Supervisor
Digital Compositor
Film Type:
Spoken Languages:
French, Russian, Spanish
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
1.85:1 (Flat)
The screenplay is based on the autobiography of the same name of Reinaldo Arenas, which was published in English in 1993.

This film had its world premiere at the 2000 Venice International Film Festival and its North American premiere at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival

Set in Cuba, the film was made entirely in Mexico, with Veracruz doubling as Havana. Julian Schnabel said the crew was so pleasant to work with that, if he was making a film in the arctic, he would use a Mexican crew.

Almost every scene, according to Guillermo Rosas, was photographed with a chocolate-colored filter on the camera lens. The contributed a great deal to distinctive colors and textures in the film, especially the skin tones, and the vibrancy in green hues.

The director's wife plays Javier Bardem's mother. All of Schnabel's children have bit roles as well.

Olivier Martinez first English speaking role. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino were offered the role of great Cuban man of letters Lezama Lima. The part was finally played by a friend of Julian Schnabell who was Global Art Executive of David Rockefeller Founded Chase Bank Art Collection.