Memories of Underdevelopment (1973)
Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 14
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 2
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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 967
The first Cuban film made after Fidel Castro's revolution to receive widespread distribution (and acclaim) in the United States, Memories of Underdevelopment is not exactly a broad endorsement of Castro's new Cuba. Its protagonist, Sergio (Sergio Correri) is depicted in the opening scenes as happy to see off his wife and parents and friends; they are fleeing Cuba in the wake of the Bay of Pigs invasion for America. He is skeptical of the ability of the Revolution to make a real change in Cuban
May 17, 1973 Wide
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The eventual worldwide recognition of Underdevelopment as one of Cuba's finest films speaks as much for the frozen moment it captures as for its unimpeachable quality.
Alea proceeds with dazzling and highly accomplished technique towards a perceptive and witty analysis.
Here is a film about alienation that is wise, sad and often funny, and that never slips into the bored and boring attitudes that wreck Antonioni's later films.
Though inevitably committed to Castro and the revolution, it's the most valuable account we have of this crucial period of Cuban history.
While Memories is a landmark film that deserves wide exposure, its overriding concerns about intellectualism and class-consciousness -- or, perhaps, class self-consciousness -- feel dated.
If you're expecting a stodge of Marxist propaganda, you'll be pleasantly surprised: director Tomas Gutierrez Alea orchestrates a vibrant black-and-white collage of fictional sequences, still photos and documentary footage.
This transfixing movie, with its mix of freewheeling dialogue scenes, still photo images and documentary footage, conjures up the uncertain mood of Havana just after the revolution.
Very complex but well worth the attention you'll need to pay it to even vaguely catch every nuance.
A clever film that may be provocatively political and deadly earnest but still has an infectious sense of fun and creative joy.
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