Memories of Underdevelopment

Memories of Underdevelopment
Fecha de publicación: 
8 September 2023
Imagen principal: 

It’s, perhaps, the most famous of Cuban films, a true landmark of arts in Cuba. Directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea in 1968, based on the homonymous novel by Edmundo Desnoes, Memorias del subdesarrollo integrates many of the lists of the best Latin American cinematographic creations.

No wonder: its formal and conceptual values have differentiated it since its premiere, since it was first ran on international circuits.

It was (is) an intimate chronicle of the dizzying first years of the Revolution; that is abundant in contradictions and avoids commonplaces. An uncomfortable film, singular in its structure, it tells an introspective and ironic story: that of Sergio, a bourgeois aspiring writer, who decides to stay in Cuba, despite the fact that his wife and friends left the country after the triumph of the Revolution.

Sergio's personal story is inserted in the greatest development, just when the demanding days of the October Crisis were lived. And here and there the contradictions of a process in the making surface. You learn to make the Revolution by doing it.

The narrative of the film is divided, as in flashes of memories. Sergio is the character and narrator of the action, although sometimes it seems like a mere pretext to show a complex panorama, which he himself can’t manage to grasp. The strong testimonial vocation of the film puts it among the most interesting and incisive chronicles of the national evolution.

Duration: 97 minutes.
Country: Cuba.
Director: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.
Year: 1968.
Format: 35mm.
Colour: B/W.
Synopsis: 1962. Sergio, a dilettante intellectual, refuses to accompany his family, who leaves for exile in the United States; while he remains as a spectator of reality, unable to integrate socially.

Producer: Miguel Mendoza.
Screenplay: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Edmundo Desnoes.
Photography direction: Ramón F. Suárez.
Editor : Nelson Rodriguez.
Original score: Leo Brouwer.
Sound design: Eugenio Vesa, Germinal Hernández, Carlos Fernández.
Art direction: Julio Matilla.

Cast: Sergio Corrieri, Daisy Granados, Eslinda Núñez, Beatriz Ponchova, Gilda Hernández, René de la Cruz, Omar Valdés, Ofelia González, Rafael Sosa.

Producer: ICAIC

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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