In order that we critically examine the film Memories of Underdevelopment, we must first look into the attitude and personality of the film’s celebrated director Tomas Gutierrez Alea. Mr. Gutierrez Alea has been a controversial filmmaker, who developed his own film culture in…
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Describing those days, the film under discussion qualifies as a Cuban cinema with certain typical traits. Mr. Gutierrez Alea, the maker of this film, has always been sensitive towards “Cubanness”. This Cubanness finds expression through a social commitment, which must also culminate at a social resonance. People must be able to identify themselves with the characters of the film, and further reflect on the subject and predicate of the presentation. Memories of Underdevelopment effectively portrayed the identity factor of the Cuban society and thus it accomplishes as a typical Cuban film.
Mr. Gutierrez Alea was critical to the revolution but not destructive towards it. Hence, Memories of Underdevelopment can be defined as a portrait of the Cuban society created by a critical insider of the Cuban Revolution itself. The film covers the humanistic aspects of the revolutionary outlook through the heart and mind of a sensitive filmmaker. Hence, it becomes a descriptive monologue of the Cuban Revolution as a whole.
The film has a radical expressionist approach towards the Cuban Revolution and the society. It particularly seeks to point out the stringency and confusion in the post revolutionary Cuba during the 1960s. The film is about an intellectual who strives to find out his place in the post-revolutionary social framework of Cuba. Thus, the director enters a world of inter-contradiction, where we find both revolutionary commitment and humanly hesitations in one go. In the process, the critique becomes pretty innovative.
The film does not attack one’s humanly weaknesses. Rather, it portrays this factor of weakness sympathetically. The assertive masterpiece is meshed into the picturing of this sensitive feature of the human mind. The weakness or hesitation actually develops from the internal mind, where subconscious reasoning often takes control of a man’s
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