January 27, 2021

POSTED BY

Jose Fresan

CATEGORY

Memories of Underdevelopment: The Ultimate Cuban Film

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Cuba is known for so many things but film making is not known to be one of its fortes. However, there is one movie which was released in 1968 that is now considered one of the best movies in world cinema: Memories of Underdevelopment. The film was based on the …

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Cuba is known for so many things but film making is not known to be one of its fortes. However, there is one movie which was released in 1968 that is now considered one of the best movies in world cinema: Memories of Underdevelopment.

The film was based on the novel Inconsolable Memories by Edmundo Desnoes and was directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea. It tells the story of a wealthy bourgeois aspiring writer, who after the revolution decides to stay in Cuba even though his wife and friends flee to Miami. It is an analysis of the contrast between the bourgeois mindset of the time and the popular post-revolutionary mindset of Cuba. The relationship of the protagonists with his love interests reveals a lot of his attitudes and feeling of alienation from both the bourgeois world from where he comes and the new reality that the Cuban revolution has brought to his world.

It was very controversial at the time of its release since some felt the film was attacking the new Cuban reality and praising the contrasting American way of doing things. However, ironically, its director Alea was quoted saying that “Memories was in general much better understood and evaluated in the US because people perceived the attempt to criticize the bourgeois mentality.”

I believe that Memories of Underdevelopment is a very interesting analysis of reality, without leaning towards one or the other, it states the facts of the two opposite realities presented in the film.

Luckily you can watch the film for free on YouTube