Home Entertainment Heroes and traitors abound in Netflix’s Cuban spy drama Wasp Network

Heroes and traitors abound in Netflix’s Cuban spy drama Wasp Network

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Wasp Network is the upcoming spy drama from writer/director Olivier Assayas (Personal Shopper), and is based on the 2011 non-fiction book ‘The Last Soldiers of the Cold War’ by Fernando Gomes de Morias, which told the tale of Cuban spies who infiltrated anti-Castro groups based in the US in the ‘90s.

The official synopsis is as follows:

René González (Edgar Ramírez) is a Cuban pilot who leaves his wife (Penelope Cruz) and young daughter behind in the communist island nation to defect to the United States and begin a new life of freedom in the early 1990s. But René is not the upstart American striver he appears to be. Joining forces with a group of Cuban exiles in South Florida known as the Wasp Network — led by undercover operative Manuel Viramontez a.k.a. Gerardo Hernandez (Gaël García Bernal) — he becomes part of a pro-Castro spy ring tasked with observing and infiltrating Cuban-American terror groups intent upon attacking the socialist republic.

Based on the true story of The Cuban Five — intelligence officers including González who were arrested in Florida in September 1998 and later convicted of espionage and other illegal activities — Wasp Network is a gripping and stylish political thriller that wears many faces, bringing together a rogue’s gallery of Cuban nationals and Cuban-American exiles engaged in a complex and deeply nuanced battle of competing ideologies and shifting loyalties.

Let’s take a look:

I think this looks like a colourful, fast-paced tale based on the true events, and you’re going to be disappointed if you expect anything more. While I doubt it’ll be particularly deep, I do like that the movie doesn’t seem to shy away from the moral complexity of its characters or story – it doesn’t seem to frame the conflict in the standard good guys vs. bad guys we’re all so accustomed to seeing. As the adage goes, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

What do you think?

Wasp Network will premiere on Netflix on 19 June. It also stars Ana De Armas, Leonardo Sbaraglia, and Wagner Moura.

Last Updated: June 12, 2020

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