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  • A white man wearing a wig and garb from the early 19th century sits next to a black man wearing a ragged shirt.



Tuesday, June 11

(1976, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea) “Let me see if I understand, when overseer beats me, I should be happy?” Set just after the Haitian Revolution, as Cuban slaveholders are both terrified of insurrection and set on intensifying their exploitation, Count Nelson Villagra, invites 12 slaves to reenact the last supper, preaching the Christian virtues and “joy” of suffering, before changing his tune when the tables turn. 16mm print courtesy BFI. Approx. 120 min.


“Worthy of Buñuel himself, not only in force of argument but in its irony and humor.”
– Derek Malcolm

“Alea’s dazzling moral tale draws on Christianity, socialism, blasphemy, humor, despair, horror.”
– Penelope Gilliatt, The New Yorker

“Uses a mix of absurdity and brutality to approximate the unthinkable realities of widespread chattel slavery while also linking it to features of contemporary Cuban society: the peculiar apostolic rationalism of socialism, old-line Christianity, the island’s color caste system, and its syncretic Afro-Catholic religions.” 
– Gary Dauphin, Village Voice

Film Forum