Gael Garcia Bernal Presents Memorias del Subdesarrollo
“Well it was really nice to receive this invitation to present a film that inspired me…. because whenever you try to choose your favorite film…you always feel you’re leaving one behind…In this case it was very specific. The question was “what has inspired you?”…It’s a beautiful film from 1968 called “Memorias del Subdesarrollo”, Memories of Underdevelopment, by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.….It’s a film that I saw when I was in Cuba I was 15…I’m sure we have all…had a feeling, seen films which create an instant that lasts 2 hours, that kept me going and starting to look at the face of the social bubble where I lived; the place where I was…It started in me being in Havana, Cuba and…then started to see where I came from, the whole continent where I came from which is very new…
What the film sort of questions is, “What is…each people’s perception of the word development and underdevelopment?” …I think the perception…that I have is very different than you. And we all have different perceptions of that term. Why? Because we grew up in social contexts and this film is about the person that is inside a social context and sees how the social context changes and he decides whether or not to take part in it…
[Alea] was pro-revolutionary like everyone was, all the young people were in the revolution in Cuba. He was a revolutionary but always maintained a strong criticism for the revolution…we should criticize the way we live, and that’s development. We should be open.
…I hope this gives you some sort of a window on this time…And thank you so much for creating this bridge. It is a really nice bridge that you create by allowing people to express additional thoughts like this…Thank you so much.”
“Because we grew up in social contexts and this film is about the person that is inside a social context and sees how the social context changes and he decides whether or not to take part in it…”
Memorias del Subdesarrollo
Memorias del Subdesarrollo (1968) is written and directed by acclaimed Cuban director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea. Exploring both the personal and political life in Cuba, the film is an insightful portrait of an intellectual struggling to define his place in the aftermath of the revolution.
Sergio (Sergio Corrieri) is an aspiring bourgeois writer who decides to stay in Cuba after the Castro Revolution, even though his wife and friends have all fled the country to live in Miami. Sergio spends his days smoking, writing, and reflecting on the changes in Cuba, from the revolution to the missile crisis, the effect of living in an underdeveloped country, and his relationships with two girlfriends.