Ilmar and Aldo are virtuoso Cuban-born brothers living on opposite sides of a geopolitical chasm a half century wide.
Tracking their parallel lives, poignant reunion, and momentous first performances together on stages across the U.S., Los Hermanos / The Brothers suggests what is possible when walls come down, and borders are crossed. A nuanced, intensely moving view of nations long estranged, through the lens of music and family.
Featuring an electrifying, genre-bending score composed by Cuban Aldo López-Gavilán, performed with his American brother, Ilmar, with a guest appearance by violin maestro Joshua Bell.
“A beautiful, beautiful film. Thank you for opening my eyes in a brand new way.”
David France / Oscar-nominated filmmaker, How to Survive a Plague, Welcome to Chechnya
“A purely celebratory film that at the same time biopsies political expedience and nationalism; a film about love — for family, for art, for country — that is deeply layered with injustice as well as resilience; a film about forced separation that made us want to dance. “
Woodstock Film Festival Jury
“The compelling tale of a family disrupted by geopolitics.” — Peter Keough, Boston Globe
“Offers a bright take on the endurance of family despite the policies of the day.” — NPR, Boston
“A deep eye-opener that elicits empathy and gratitude.” — John Santos / Latin Jazz Musician
“A beautiful, beautiful film. Thank you for opening my eyes in a brand new way.” — David France / Oscar-nominated filmmaker, How to Survive a Plague, Welcome to Chechnya
“A wonderful film that tells the story of family, music, culture…and our two countries with openness and humor.” — Lynn Roche / Deputy Director, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. State Department
“Exquisite—so much poetry, heart, and exemplary craft. …The editing is just sublime.” — Rob Epstein / Two-time Oscar winner, The Times of Harvey Milk, Common Threads
Ilmar and Aldo López-Gavilán are virtuoso Afro-Cuban musician brothers, born in Havana in the 70s. At 14, Ilmar outgrew his island teachers and was sent to the U.S.S.R. to study violin.
He never lived in Cuba again, ultimately landing as a working chamber violinist in the U.S. Younger brother Aldo grew up mentored by Cuba’s impressive jazz and classical pianists, his extraordinary talent achieving renown on the island, but stymied elsewhere by the 60-year-old U.S. embargo.
Though they see each other when family finances and visa restrictions allow, they’ve never had a chance to collaborate musically—something they’ve longed for all their lives.
Tracking their parallel lives, poignant reunion, and momentous first performances together on stages across the U.S., Los Hermanos / The Brothers is a nuanced, intensely moving view of nations long estranged, through the lens of music and family.