In a newly formed society driven by collective effort, the extended solipsism engaged by Sergio (Sergio Correri - I Am Cuba) allows him a paradoxical perspective. Like Dostoevsky’s Underground Man, he is an acute observer of people, in a society he is himself utterly alienated from. Through Sergio, Memories of Underdevelopmentchronicles a specific historical moment: situated between the Bay of Pigs invasions of April 1961 to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Sergio’s family joins the mass exodus to Miami in the wake of the revolution. Choosing to remain behind, Sergio passes his time in frivolous womanizing despite being haunted by the notion of“underdevelopment”: the consciousness of a wealthy man in a nation beset by poverty.
Tomás Gutiérrez Alea became a shining star of Cuban cinema as a result of the commercial and critical success of Memories of Underdevelopment. Influenced by John Cassavetes and Alain Resnais, Alea fashioned a unique approach to film grammar which dissolved the lines between drama, documentary, essay and newsreel. Its legacy as a classic of world cinema is testified by its inclusion in Derek Malcolm’s 100 greatest films of the 20th Century.
Memories of Underdevelopment is the best example of the creative and original cinema coming out of Cuba in the mid-1960s -- Socialist Review
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 --L.A. Weekly
The result is hugely effective and moving, and it is complete in the way that very few movies ever are -- New York Times
1968 / 93 minutes / Spanish with English subtitles / Mono audio / 1.66 : 1 Black & White / DVD PAL Multi Region / MRBDVD011