DVD Features: includes feature-length commentary by director Julian Schnabel, star Javier Bardem, screenwriter Lázaro Gómez-Carriles, and composer Carter Burwell; cast and crew filmographies; three documentary shorts, including an Interview with the real Reinaldo Arenas; DVD-ROM Features; and Web access.
Before Night Falls
This extraordinary dreamy experimental film was adapted from the memoirs of the Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas. The handsome and talented Javier Bardem stars in the film narrating the story with his sometimes hard-to-understand English. Johnny Depp appears in two supporting roles; as a transvestite who helps the writer smuggle his work out of prison, and also the prison guard who sexually manipulates a confession of worthlessness from the hapless young author. Following his escape from Cuba and his flight to America, the story and writer take a decided turn for the worse; all of it graphically depicted. Julian Schnabel the artist has directed this, his second film and has managed to convey this depressing, but often visually stunning story far better than he did four years ago in his first film "Basquiat"