ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
Tuesday, June 4
(1977, Sara Gómez) Romance in Miraflores (one of the post-revolutionary housing projects, created to replace the worst Havana slums) between revolutionary schoolteacher Yolanda and retrograde factory-worker Mario. Mixing documentary and narrative, Gómez weaves into their story an exploration of revolutionary ethics, macho culture, and the Abacuá religion.
Trained as a musician, Gómez started out at ICAIC as an assistant director working on Tomás Guttiérez Alea’s Cumbite and Agnes Varda’s Salut les Cubains. She made a number of short documentaries, on subjects ranging from tobacco production to prenatal care, before starting work on her sole feature De Cierta Manera, which was completed by Alea and García Espinosa, after her death from an acute asthma attack at age 31.
16mm print courtesy New York Public Library. Approx. 72 min.
“Nothing if not an aesthetically radical film… It mixes fiction and documentary in the most original way, not merely by alternating them, but by using real people to play themselves alongside professional actors… Hugely pleasurable, [it] zips along, brimming with lightness and good humor, however jarring the jumps. On the contrary, the jar of the jumps becomes part of the pleasure.”
– Michael Chanan, Cuban Cinema
“Brilliantly counterposes macho cruelties and loyalties, socialist change and intractable traditions, revolutionary fervor and political authoritarianism.”
– Time Out [London]
“A mesmerizing fusion of fictional romance and polemical documentary.”
– Sukhdev Sandhu, 4 Columns