Memories Of Underdevelopment review

A 40th anniversary re-release for one of the classics of so-called Third World revolutionary cinema. Set in Havana in the early 1960s, between the Bays of Pigs invasion and the Cuban missile crisis, Memories Of Underdevelopment explores the experiences, feelings and fantasies of its womanizing 38-year-old protagonist, bourgeois would-be writer Sergio (Sergio Corrieri). Scornful of his wife, parents and friends who’ve already emigrated to the States, he nonetheless feels strangely detached from the ongoing revolution. If you’re expecting a stodge of Marxist propaganda, you’ll be pleasantly surprised: director Tomas Gutierrez Alea orchestrates a vibrant black-and-white collage of fictional sequences, still photos and documentary footage. Corrieri, meanwhile, memorably conveys the charming Sergio’s emotional and intellectual paralysis, a spectator swept away by history’s march.


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