Classic Film on Revolutionary Cuba in Minnesota
Carleton to Screen “Lucia,” Classic Film on Revolutionary Cuba
The Carleton College Art Gallery will present a screening of Humberto Solas’ 1969 movie “Lucia” on Tuesday, January 26 at 7 p.m. in the Boliou Hall auditorium. Carol Donelan, associate professor of cinema and media studies, and Yansi Perez, assistant professor of Spanish, will introduce the film, which charts women’s roles during three separate periods in Cuban history.
This showing coincides with the art gallery’s current exhibition of Latin American social and political posters from the 1950s to the present, which includes a publicity poster for the “Lucia.” This event is free and open to the public.
“Lucia” is an anthology film, comprised of three distinct stories about Cuban women named Lucia at times of revolution. The first Lucia lives in 1895, when Cuba fought for independence from Spain. The second lives in 1933, when Cuban popular resistance against the dictator Geraldo Machado ended in failure, and the third in the 1960s aftermath of Fidel Castro’s successful rise to power. Each Lucia is from a different social class, with conflicting levels of involvement and response.
Besides having three captivating stories, Lucia also shows great creativity in relating form and content cinematically. The visual style of each story is distinctive and evocative of their respective epochs. When asked why he chose all female protagonists, Humberto Solas explained that women are traditionally the unheard victims in all social confrontations. Their role in conflict exposes a time’s contradictions and makes them explicit. Solas directed “Lucia” when he was just 26 years old, very early on in what would become an extremely ambitious and successful career in Cuban cinema.
“Lucia” was the recipient of many international awards, becoming one of the most famous Cuban films of all time. It was filmed during the Golden Age of ICAIC (Instituto Cubano del Arte y la Industria Cinematográficos), which was founded under the first cultural law of the revolutionary government in 1959. The institution has produced many classic films, such as “Memorias del Subdesarrollo” (1968) and “Fresa y Chocolate” (1993). It also helped shape the iconic Cuban poster as a mean of promoting films.
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