This film by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea is the most widely renowned work in the history of Cuban cinema. After his wife and family flee in the wake of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the bourgeois intellectual Sergio (Sergio Corrieri) passes his days wandering Havana in idle reflection, his amorous entanglements and political ambivalence gradually giving way to a mounting sense of alienation. With this adaptation of an innovative novel by Edmundo Desnoes, Gutiérrez Alea developed a cinematic style as radical as the times he was chronicling, creating a collage of vivid impressions through the use of experimental editing techniques, archival material, and spontaneously shot street scenes. Intimate and densely layered, Memories of Underdevelopment provides a biting indictment of its protagonist’s disengagement and an extraordinary glimpse of life in postrevolutionary Cuba.
New interviews with film critics B. Ruby Rich and José Antonio Évora
New interview with novelist and screenwriter Edmundo Desnoes
Titón: From Havana to “Guantanamera,” a 2008 feature-length documentary on director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s life and career
Segment from a 1989 audio interview with Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
Segments from oral histories filmed in 2017 with actor Daisy Granados and editor Nelson Rodríguez from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Visual History Program collection