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Memorias del subdesarrollo: a yesterday classic for tomorrow

Memorias del subdesarrollo: a yesterday classic for tomorrow

Texts: Luciano Castillo

The well-known movie La muerte de un burócrata (translation: The bureaucrat’s death, 1966), filled of sarcastic gallous humour, was just been projected on several cinema screens, when the filmmaker Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (1928-1996) was revealing his next project on a press lecture.  This time it wouldn’t have anything to do with the mentioned title, full of bright comedy and versatile stylistic solutions. 

The character of Sergio, an enthusiastic bourgeois who chooses to stay in Cuba while his family leaves for exile to the United States, a common spectator of a chaotic reality, was too perfect to let go so easily. Gutiérrez Alea found in this character «the individual facing the Revolution; the civilization facing the underdevelopment; home, refuge, facing the streets, the outside; the past (another refuge) facing the present (the uncertain). Someone who cannot help but identifying himself with the first words of these arguments». 

Memories of Underdevelopment is simply amazing not just for its clever cinematography and foreseeing its moment, but for the strength of its ideas and conceptions. Every each of us who have seen this movie again and again, feel incomplete, as if we’ve never seen it before and are anxious to do it once more. For those who watch it for the first time, end up surprised at a movie made yesterday for the tomorrow spectators.