Shot in stark black-and-white and incorporating documentary footage, voiceover narration and stylistic flourishes inspired by the French New Wave, 1968’s Memories of Underdevelopment (Memorias del subdesarollo) remains the most intriguing and artful Cuban film about life on the island in the tumultuous post-Revolution 1960s.
The movie, which was released in the U.S. to great acclaim in 1973, centers on Sergio (played by Sergio Correri), a bourgeois writer and intellectual who chooses to stay in Cuba after his wife and parents flee to Miami. Directed by the late Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, best known for 1995’s Oscar-nominated Strawberry and Chocolate, the film follows Sergio as he begins a relationship with a young woman, Elena (Daisy Granados), who he decides is culturally “underdeveloped” and tries to broaden her intellectual horizons.
Rarely screened in the U.S., Memories of Underdevelopment will be projected on 35mm film at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8 and Sunday, Aug. 9 at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave., as part of the theater’s ongoing “Matinee Essentials” retrospective series. Each screening will be introduced by José Antonio Evora, Gutiérrez Alea's biographer. Tickets are $8 ($5 for cinema members). For more information, call 786-385-9689 or click here.