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MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT

Director: TOMAS GUTIERREZ ALEA

Cuba • 1968 • sub titled • BLACK AND WHITE • DIGITAL BETACAM • 97 MIN


Hailed as the most sophisticated film ever to come out of Cuba, the late Tomas Gutierrez Alea’s 1968 masterpiece Memories of Underdevelopment is re-released in digital format. Alea was a middle-class Cuban who went along with the revolution despite some of the doubts displayed by the equally bourgeois protagonist of his film. This is Sergio (Sergio Corrieri), a wealthy man who decides to stay behind when his family leaves for the U.S. The time is 1961 and the film is placed between the exodus after the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion and the missile crisis of the following year. The film centres on Sergio’s thoughts and experiences as he is confronted by the new reality. He is fundamentally an alienated outsider, scornful of his bourgeois family and friends but also of the naivety of those who believe that everything can suddenly be changed. He continues to live as a property owner and chases women with an almost neurotic fervour. For all Sergio’s lack of heroism, however, the film refuses to make any easy judgment on him.

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