Day of the Flowers is about two Scottish sisters travelling to Cuba to scatter their estranged dad’s ashes. Rosa is a crunchy activist, who has taken all the idealism of her father’s early years, romanticising his time spent doing solidarity work in Cuba when her parents were first married. Ailie is a stylish good-time girl, who got used to the middle class lifestyle their dad drifted into as he aged and their mother died. The hurt and rejection they both feel from their father’s estrangement after their mother’s death, and his remarriage to the quintessential evil stepmother, stands as a barrier between them, and they struggle to rejoin for this last filial duty.
Rosa is kinda the problem character in the movie. She’s a passionate advocate for social and economic justice, but a real arseache with it, self-righteous and judgemental of others. She espouses collectivism but won’t take help from anyone, is stubborn and defiant in her mistakes, and goes on the attack to hide a deep loneliness and a fear that she may have lost the ability to trust anyone enough to love again. Her pig-headedness drives a lot of the plot, starting with her stealing her father’s ashes to stop him being made into a golf trophy (lol!)
Carlos Acosta plays her love interest, the obviously right choice who is everything she wants, that she spends most of the movie running away from. She spends all her time proving that she doesn’t need him, to the detriment of no one but herself.
The film is kind of her journey demythologising Cuba, and demythologising her parents. Coming to realise that she has heavily invested in her self-image and based it on flawed assumptions, and set her sister up as the antagonist in a story Ailie never agreed to join in on. As she begins to see Cuba for what it is, beautiful, but a place, not a paradise, she can begin to be more forgiving of the actuality of others and herself.
Also, and this doesn’t get said enough, Carlos Acosta is smoking hot in this. I mean, and absolute PHWOAR! of a man.