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Los Hermanos / The Brothers is a love story between siblings separated by borders, yet united by their love of music. Placed squarely at the nexus of music, culture and politics, virtuosic Cuban musicians Aldo and Ilmar López-Gavilán share a dream of playing together after thirty years of living apart in vastly different worlds.


Violinist Ilmar was sent to study in Moscow at age 14, when Aldo was still a young boy. His diligence ultimately earned him a middle-class New York life and seven months a year on the road, performing with his Grammy-winning Harlem Quartet. When he grew older, pianist Aldo was able to study in London before returning to Cuba, where the musician/composer faced the challenges of life on the island—poor infrastructure, a weak economy and the daily frustrations stemming from the U.S. embargo. All the while the brothers stayed in touch with the hope of somehow, some day reuniting. When historic changes during the Obama era make it possible for them to collaborate in the States, the brothers reunite, traveling together on a tour that culminates when famed violinist Joshua Bell invites Aldo to play at Lincoln Center.


More than simply a musical excursion or the personal story of the impact of the U.S. Cuban policy, Los Hermanos / The Brothers uses the shared language of music and the bond between brothers to illuminate the complex tradeoffs between two cultures in counterpoint. The love between Aldo and Ilmar, coupled with the intimacy of life in Cuba, the spirit of the people, stunning cinematography, and electrifying musical performances make this a film that celebrates how love and art can transcend politics.

  • Year
    2020
  • Runtime
    84 minutes
  • Language
    English, Spanish
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Marcia Jarmel, Ken Schneider
  • Screenwriter
    Marcia Jarmel
  • Cast
    Aldo López-Gavilán, Ilmar Gavilán, Joshua Bell
  • Cinematographer
    Roberto Chile, Dave Sperling, Rafael Solis
  • Editor
    Ken Schneider, Bill Weber
  • Composer
    Aldo López-Gavilán