Discovery Series Cuba
One of the first Cuban films to achieve significant success abroad, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s intimate and densely layered Memories of Underdevelopment (Memorias del subdesarrollo) is a landmark work of the country’s cinema. Left behind by his wife and family in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the bourgeois intellectual Sergio (Sergio Corrieri) passes his days wandering Havana and idly reflecting, his amorous entanglements and political ambivalence gradually giving way to a mounting sense of alienation.
With this adaptation of an innovative novel by Edmundo Desnoes, Gutiérrez Alea developed a cinematic style as radical as the times he was chronicling, creating a collage of vivid impressions through the use of experimental editing techniques, archival material and spontaneously shot street scenes. Appearing on the 50th anniversary of its release in a stunning new 4K restoration, Memories of Underdevelopment stands as a biting indictment of its protagonist’s disengagement and an extraordinary glimpse of life in post-revolutionary Havana.