Memories of Underdevelopment

  • Tues Apr 10
Memories of Underdevelopment
Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
Sergio Corrieri, Daisy Granados, Eslinda Núñez

The first post-revolution Cuban film to make it to overseas audiences, Alea’s film looks at the revolution through the eyes of Sergio (Corrieri), a middle class intellectual in his late thirties who chooses to stay in Havana when his family leaves for Miami in 1961. Caught between his embrace of revolutionary ideals and his inability to let go of certain bourgeois and decadent practices, Sergio is incapable of any decisive action. Against an ever-looming specter of foreign invasion, he meets sixteen-year-old Elena (Daisy Granados), a virginal figure whom he attempts to mold into his ideal Cuban socialite. Alea’s finest ambition in the film may be the delicate correlation between political reality and subjective experience. Voted by the New York Times as one of the ten best films of 1974 (when it was finally released stateside), Memories of Underdevelopment seamlessly blends documentary and newsreel footage with diaristic narrative in a style that is equal parts Hiroshima Mon Amour and The Battle of Algiers. A landmark example of New Latin cinema.

Cosponsored with the Dept of Romance Studies.


1 hour 37 minutes
release year/country
1968 Cuba