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A mesmerising film from one of Cuba’s greatest filmmakers, showing, in the words of director Walter Salles, “that filmic precision and radical experimentation could go hand in hand”, Memories of Underdevelopment, based on Edmundo Desnoes’ novel, is a complex character study of alienation amid tumultuous social change.

Sergio, a wealthy aspiring writer, decides to remain in Cuba even though his wife and friends, like many members of the middle class, have taken flight from the country. Caught between the bourgeois lifestyle he is tired of and a revolution he doesn’t understand, Sergio reflects on the recent social changes and living in an underdeveloped country, as well as his relationships with girlfriends Elena and Hanna, and his deeply flawed marriage.

The film uses a combination of fragmented narrative, documentary (real-life footage of protests and political events are incorporated) and still photographs. Witty and irreverent, this is one of the best examples of the creative and original cinema that emerged from 1960s Cuba – a stylistic tour-de-force. (BFI)

Deptford Cinema will be screening a classic of Third Cinema once a month. This strand will feature titles made by developing and postcolonial nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the 1960s and 70s. A cinema movement that addressed issues of race, class, ethnicity, religion, history and identity while challenging dominant aesthetics, Third Cinema produced some of the most culturally signficant, politically nuanced and frequently studied films of the period.

  • dir. Tomas Gutierrez Alea

  • year. 1968

  • country. Cuba

  • run-time. 98mins

£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)

Doors 7.15PM

Film 7.45PM

A dazzling piece of work, not just for its political bravery and relentlessly challenging outlook. It’s also a sly and witty but still heartfelt character study, with moments of real warmth glittering amid the revolutionary rubble... one of the true greats of radical cinema
— Time Out
Of all the dozens of films produced in Cuba through Castro’s insistence on the importance of the cinema, Memories of Underdevelopment is the most sophisticated... Alea was clearly no ordinary product of the revolutionary cinema
— The Guardian
The best example of the creative and original cinema coming out of Cuba in the mid-1960s
— Socialist Review
Daring blend of personal and political
— Hollywood Reporter
Earlier Event: August 13
LIFE DRAWING at Deptford Cinema
Later Event: August 20
LIFE DRAWING at Deptford Cinema