Memories of Underdevelopment (Memorias del subdesarrollo) Reviews

  • 1d ago

    1001 movies to see before you die. A thoughtful part documentary, part film showing life in Cuba after the Bay of Pigs. It's about individual freedom in a state run system. It was on YouTube.

    1001 movies to see before you die. A thoughtful part documentary, part film showing life in Cuba after the Bay of Pigs. It's about individual freedom in a state run system. It was on YouTube.

  • Oct 23, 2019

    Memories of Underdevelopment is a movie that is very difficult to categorize as it's ambiguous in terms of its genre. I personally did not care for its French New Wave influences as those were undercooked, standard and not all that interesting to begin with. The film is at its best as a political documentary of sorts. It's a visually appealing time capsule/history lesson as it importantly explores the aftermath of Cuban Revolution.

    Memories of Underdevelopment is a movie that is very difficult to categorize as it's ambiguous in terms of its genre. I personally did not care for its French New Wave influences as those were undercooked, standard and not all that interesting to begin with. The film is at its best as a political documentary of sorts. It's a visually appealing time capsule/history lesson as it importantly explores the aftermath of Cuban Revolution.

  • Mar 11, 2019

    There's a lot going on throughout here from the Castro Revolution to fragmented memories to heinous sexual acts all revolving around a character that isn't necessarily cinematically fascinating. But I think Tomas Gutierrez Alea really fucks with the structure of introspective narrative here to make it an experiment worth analyzing, researching and coming back to as opposed to completely nauseating in its ultimate character choices.

    There's a lot going on throughout here from the Castro Revolution to fragmented memories to heinous sexual acts all revolving around a character that isn't necessarily cinematically fascinating. But I think Tomas Gutierrez Alea really fucks with the structure of introspective narrative here to make it an experiment worth analyzing, researching and coming back to as opposed to completely nauseating in its ultimate character choices.

  • Jul 26, 2015

    I don't know whether it was the movie or just me lacking energy, but I was honestly dozing off during some parts of this film, so I do not retain all the information within the film. What I do remember is that this film didn't really know whether it was trying to be more of a narrative film or more of a documentary, making it somewhat of a mess. What I do retain is the story following Sergio and his lust for women. His story starts an unhappy one, having lost family in the Bay of Pigs incident. Ever since, he is trying to find meaning in his life, or excitement - this excitement he strives for leads him down a path of pedophilia (though I'm not sure how well this is portrayed with an actress who looks 25 and is supposed to play 17). He meets this girl, Elena, on the street one day and seduces her after being persistent. Most of the story then revolves around a scene where it is unclear whether Sergio rapes her or not. The girl takes his advances as a joke while Sergio is very serious, and afterwards we hear Sergio telling her to "stop crying." Ultimately Sergio is off the hook (even though she was a 17-year-old girl) since it cannot be proved that she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or that she did not consent. This is a little unsettling, and overall this movie does not teach us much about Cuba with the documentary aspect of the film. We are left with a very ambiguous reflection on human nature.

    I don't know whether it was the movie or just me lacking energy, but I was honestly dozing off during some parts of this film, so I do not retain all the information within the film. What I do remember is that this film didn't really know whether it was trying to be more of a narrative film or more of a documentary, making it somewhat of a mess. What I do retain is the story following Sergio and his lust for women. His story starts an unhappy one, having lost family in the Bay of Pigs incident. Ever since, he is trying to find meaning in his life, or excitement - this excitement he strives for leads him down a path of pedophilia (though I'm not sure how well this is portrayed with an actress who looks 25 and is supposed to play 17). He meets this girl, Elena, on the street one day and seduces her after being persistent. Most of the story then revolves around a scene where it is unclear whether Sergio rapes her or not. The girl takes his advances as a joke while Sergio is very serious, and afterwards we hear Sergio telling her to "stop crying." Ultimately Sergio is off the hook (even though she was a 17-year-old girl) since it cannot be proved that she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or that she did not consent. This is a little unsettling, and overall this movie does not teach us much about Cuba with the documentary aspect of the film. We are left with a very ambiguous reflection on human nature.

  • Nov 20, 2014

    An interesting time capsule of the era, Alea's weird little snapshot of early Castro Cuba is a distinct, if sometimes preachy, film. It deftly criticizes both sides of the conflict via its bourgeois main character, mixing in newsreel footage to add a proper grounding, even to newer audiences.

    An interesting time capsule of the era, Alea's weird little snapshot of early Castro Cuba is a distinct, if sometimes preachy, film. It deftly criticizes both sides of the conflict via its bourgeois main character, mixing in newsreel footage to add a proper grounding, even to newer audiences.

  • Jul 08, 2014

    BUT WHO WAS TRULY UNDERDEVELOPED? OMG DEEP. Nah, the answer is and will always be Cuba. Backwards-ass mofos.

    BUT WHO WAS TRULY UNDERDEVELOPED? OMG DEEP. Nah, the answer is and will always be Cuba. Backwards-ass mofos.

  • Feb 03, 2014

    while it has not dated very well, the films intelligence is still very much alive and very much relevant in the ever-shifting sands of culture

    while it has not dated very well, the films intelligence is still very much alive and very much relevant in the ever-shifting sands of culture

  • Dec 31, 2012

    Innovative and suggestive, drawing on parallel thematic values between the sexualized upper class versus the historical event surrounding the time. It's a very crucial film that has great characters and brilliant editing techniques mixed with some great shots of the man.

    Innovative and suggestive, drawing on parallel thematic values between the sexualized upper class versus the historical event surrounding the time. It's a very crucial film that has great characters and brilliant editing techniques mixed with some great shots of the man.

  • Jun 23, 2012

    Complex look at Cuba after the Revolution.

    Complex look at Cuba after the Revolution.

  • Apr 15, 2012

    The actual quality of the film used is just terrible. The editing while trying to be innovative for the time is also... just terrible.

    The actual quality of the film used is just terrible. The editing while trying to be innovative for the time is also... just terrible.