Before Night Falls... it's a lot of things. First and foremost, it's the memoirs of a in/famous Cuban author/essayist/lech Reinaldo Arenas. It's a lovely book, and conquers a lot of themes very well, all united by the fact that Arenas is really good at conveying mood, very lyrically and lovingly. Arenas grew up during Fidel Castro's revolution, and was eventually trained as an accountant by the Cuban dictatorship. During his stint as a librarian, he eventually discovered a real passion for writing, and had at least one of his manuscripts published overseas (I'll go back and look, but I think it was Palace of the White Skunks). Of course, during the Castro regime, books that did not write favorably of the revolution (especially those written by outspokenly gay authors like Arenas) were banned, and the authors were imprisoned on what were known as "being-gay charges," but officially known as something like "Improper Moral Standards." Don't quote me. He eventually came to the states on the Mariel, and I'll leave you to read the book. Be warned though, Arenas deals with (homo)eroticism very frankly. Although, I never have to worry about e2ers being offended.

It's also the title of a biopic about Arenas that's based really loosely around the memoir mentioned above. It juxtaposes in documentary footage, Arenas short stories, and scenes from his other books, for no apparent reason. It's still really good.

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