Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 88: Thu Mar 31

Di Cierta Manera (Gomez, 1974): Barbican Cinema, 6pm

This film is part of the ‘Other Modernisms’ season at the Barbican. Full details here.

The first Cuban feature film directed by a woman and the last directed by Sara Gómez (1942-1974). Shot in the early 1970s in an outlying neighbourhood of Havana, the movie is more of a docudrama than a fiction film, combining elements of educational, ethnographic and investigative cinema. The movie revolves around the love story between Yolanda and Mario, who come from different socio-economic backgrounds and meet during the height of the transformations triggered by the Cuban Revolution. Standards of living – work, housing, nutrition and education – were just a few of the complex issues the new regime had to deal with. In De cierta manera, as in all of her work, Gómez explores other problems, including dismantling the legacy of a racist, sexist and “underdeveloped” colonial society (to use the words of Gutiérrez Alea) as a necessary condition for making the new man a reality. The 1970s were not an easy period for Cuban culture. The regime’s Sovietization and the advent of the quinquenio gris engendered censorship and purges that especially affected institutions such as the Casa de las Américas and the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industrias Cinematográficos (ICAIC). Gómez did not live long enough to see the end of the decade nor to finish her film; she died suddenly in 1974, while De cierta manera was being edited. The film was completed with the technical supervision of Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Julio García Espinosa, who also co-wrote the screenplay.
Judith Silva Cruzatt

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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