Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Memorias del subdesarrollo (Memories of Underdevelopment) (1968)

Today's film is Memories of Underdevelopment.  It's not quite a documentary and not quite a drama film.   It takes place in our southern neighbor of Cuba in the 1960s.  Back then, Cuba was like newly communist and no one knew how long it would last.  Several Communist countries have risen and fallen.  The Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin Wall fell, but Cuba still stays strong even in the year 2016.

There is a main plotline of a man named Sergio, used to a wealthy life, as he tries to keep up his lifestyle.  He watches his entire family including his ex-wife flee to the USA while he stays behind.  He works as a landlord for several properties and doesn't do any actual work.

Interspersed throughout the film, we see actual historical footage of events that shaped Cuba's history.  It is very educational and I did learn a lot about the history.  Cuba has helped to create Florida's culture as well, especially within the past 100 years, since so many people came up here to live.

After each historical lesson, the film returns to Sergio's story, with the first scene always being somebody's butt.  Usually a random woman's butt but sometimes we get treated to a man's butt, which is always nice.  It's like the film is saying, thanks for listening to our history, here's a butt shot.  I would have paid more attention in class if I could have seen more butts.

The most interesting person through all this is Sergio.  He still wants the life of the rich bourgeois, but in a Communist state, the workers get everything.   He loses a lot but still doesn't change.  And he has this obsession with creating an ideal woman, when there's nothing wrong with the women that he's with.  His wife finally gets fed up with his antics and leaves for America.  He tries to do the same to other women but it backfires on him.  The world he lives in is changing and growing, and yet he keeps stagnant.  He talks about Cuba being an underdeveloped country as well as its people.  I think the most underdeveloped thing about the movie is Sergio himself.  I will give this film a 7/10.

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