The background music is hauntingly sad highlighting the terror that Cubans then must have felt in the regime transition from Batista to Castro.
Andy Garcia, the movie director and lead actor, plays Fico Fellove, a nightclub owner from a prominent Cuban family. The family experiences a major financial setback and Fico’s father, Don Fellove, gathers his sons telling them that regardless of what happens they should put family first. Aware of his sons’ involvement with the factions, he tells them that he prefers the democratic way to resolve the country’s crisis. To this, the youngest son counters that the way to democracy is revolution. This starts a heated discussion, effectively dividing the family into who are against the revolution led by Castro on one side and those for it on the other. The elder Fellove’s youngest together with a brother eventually joined Castro’s army.
In the midst of the turmoil, Fico focused on managing the nightclub (when Cuba finally fell into Castro’s rule the club was among those targeted and was set on fire by the insurgents). Under Castro, citizen action and freedom were increasingly regulated. There too was the feelings of insecurity, of getting whisked off to god-knows-where for no compelling reason except on suspicion that one was not conforming to regime rules. Meantime, Don Fellove urges Fico to leave Cuba in order to keep the bloodline alive.
Migrating to New York, he opens his nightclub to a full house. He picks up his life there after learning that the woman he loved, his dead brother’s sister in-law, chose to stay behind and become part of Castro’s Cuba. Her husband, Fico’s youngest brother, died fighting under Castro. The wife wanted to continue her husband’s legacy. Some time later, she visits him in New York and tried to convince him to return with her but Fico is adamant that his new life is not with Cuba anymore “because to be there now will destroy my soul.”
The movie ends with a fitting answer to the movie’s tagline– in a time of chaos can love prevail?