Between Displacement and Nostalgia

Between Displacement and Nostalgia: Conflicted Memories of Cuba

“Memories of Underdevelopment… conjures up the uncertain mood of Havana just after the revolution. The effect is fascinating. A must-see.” –The Guardian

Jack H. Skirball Series

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea: Memorias del subdesarrollo (Memories of Underdevelopment), Cuba, 1968, 97 min., 35mm.
Followed by a discussion with Cuban novelist Edmundo Desnoes.
And by Miguel Coyula: Memorias del desarrollo (Memories of Overdevelopment), USA/Cuba, 2010, 113 min., HDCAM

One of the first international successes of Third Cinema, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s classic film was banned in the United States for five years, a victim of the embargo on post-revolutionary Cuba. Memories of Underdevelopment imaginatively transposes Edmundo Desnoes’ eponymous stream-of-consciousness novel into a modernist cinematic space. Desnoes’ ambivalence toward the new regime grew, and in 1979 he defected to the United States, where he wrote Memories of Overdevelopment, a companion piece to his earlier work. His writings in turn inspired young Cuban filmmaker Miguel Coyula, who uses the digital-media tools of his generation to comment on the issues that have fascinated Desnoes: the hunger to embrace a revolutionary cause versus political disillusionment, feeling displaced in one’s own country and in permanent exile in the country of one’s choice, the protracted conflict between underdevelopment and overdevelopment, and, last but not least, acerbic sexual politics. Desnoes will share his point of view on both films, creating a dialogue between Gutiérrez Alea’s masterpiece and Coyula’s multilayered visual experiment.

In person: Edmundo Desnoes and Miguel Coyula

Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud.

Advanced Curators' Notes

Funded in part with generous support from Wendy Keys and Donald Pels.

Associated Images: 

SAT 10/23
6:00 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff