For more than 50 years Cuba has been following the battle-cry of the revolution: Patria o Muerte, which translates as Motherland or Death. This mantra has been a daily dilemma for several Cuban generations. Motherland or Death focuses on the generation of Cubans born before the revolution as they near the end of their lives. Whilst their devotion to the motherland remains undiminished, they begin to question the circumstances in which the regime has forced them to live.
Mansky portrays a stark contrast between Cuba’s carefully crafted image and the reality of daily life. The film depicts Havana as a desolate place, a dilapidated skeleton, broken up and rearranged with stray dogs and cats, lamp posts as gallows, and angry spewing sewers.