I Am Cuba / Memories Of Underdevelopment / Lucia / Strawberry & Chocolate – 4-DVD Boxset
The Cuban revolution of 1959 and its aftermath ran parallel with a radical break from cinematic traditions. Across South America and the world, emerging film-makers entered the scene with bold new ideas and a passion for invention. The four films released in this box set offer startling glimpses of instances when these two trends crossed paths. As works of art and historical artifact, they present visions of the transition made by Cuba from a colonialist client-state to a post-colonial nation.
This collection of four highly accomplished Cuban films gives a fascinating insight into the country and how it views its own history CatchaVibe.co.uk
I AM CUBA
Initially commissioned as propaganda, I Am Cuba’s technical tour-de-force has made it a cult film; earning admiration from film-makers Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather) and Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull). A Soviet-Cuban production directed by Milhail Kalatozov and photographed by Sergei Urusevsky (The Cranes Are Flying, The Letter Never Sent) the film narrates in four segments the events leading to Castro’s revolution. Its groundbreaking visual design is composed in elaborately conceived moving camera set-ups that remain without parallel in film history.
MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT
Tomás Gutiérrez Alea became a shining star of Cuban cinema as a result of the commercial and critical success of Memories of Underdevelopment. Regarded by critic Derek Malcolm’s as one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th Century, it portrays a specific historical moment, situated between the Bay of Pigs invasions of April 1961 to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Through the perspective of Sergio (Sergio Correri - I Am Cuba), Alea depicts the erosion of personal identity in the wake of historical change.
STRAWBERRY & CHOCOLATE
Strawberry and Chocolate represented a cultural milestone in its release in 1993. It became the first Cuban film to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Made in collaboration with Juan Carlos Tabio, Strawberry and Chocolate represented the culmination of the long career of Tomás Gutiérrez Alea dedicated to challenging social conventions in Cuba; in this case exposing the hypocrisy of homophobia. This gentle comedy explores the unusual but tender friendship that develops between David (Vladimir Cruz), a heterosexual Communist Youth and Diego (Jorge Perugorria), a non-conformist homosexual aesthete.
Seeking what he describes as “a coherent, lucid, and dignified appreciation of our national past”, Humberto Solás created a new genre of historical melodramas in Cuban cinema. Narrated in three segments, each focused on a woman named Lucia; the film outlines the history of modern Cuba from the 1895 Spanish-American war to Gerardo Machado’s dictatorship in the 1930s to post-revolutionary Cuba in the 1960s.