Lucia – Humberto Solás (1968)

“One of Fidel Castro’s first acts in the wake of the success of his peoples’ revolution in 1959 was to set in motion the founding of ICAIC, the Cuban Film Institute. Like the massive literacy campaign he began soon after, ICAIC was tangible evidence of Castro’s belief in the interrelatedness of cultural and political change. With the example of the Soviet Union in the 1920’s undoubtedly in his mind, when, in Lenin’s much quoted aphorism, film became `the most important art’ in pursuit of mass education and persuasion, Castro set out to make Cuban cinema a voice of engaged political discourse, a way of speaking Cuba around the world. During the 1960’s, with masterworks like Tomas Gutierrez Alea’s Memories of Underdeveloment, and Humberto Solas’ Lucia, the revolutionary Cuban cinema joined the work of international filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard and Dusan Makavejev in articulating a new relationship between the personal and the political. The life of the woman Lucia becomes an allegory for the Cuban national move away from colonialism and toward liberation from the confinement of a bourgeois worldview. Lucia locates the Cuban struggle in the figure of a woman who is at once politically symbolic and specifically human; in this productive tension, Solas created one of the most important works in the nascent feminist cinema of the period. Told in three segments, set in 1895, 1932, and in the heady years just after the Revolution, Lucia is an epic of Cuban history. The three Lucias are literally, different women, each of their stories combining into a larger narrative of slow, painful progress for Cuba, less as a nation than as a society. The three Lucias each offer different visions of class; Solas deftly links concern with economic materialism to character growth and change, in the process transforming that often very bourgeois cinematic genre, the family melodrama, into a platform for social investigation. Solas has made a cinematic political tract that simultaneously offers an inquiry into the strategies of our identification and sympathy for cinematic characters, making these novelistic creations a vehicle for political understanding. …”
New York State Writers Institute
W – Humberto Solás
W – Lucia
NY Times – Screen: Solas’s ‘Lucia’
YouTube: Guantanamera – Lucia,1968 (ripped from the film), Lucia (Spain)

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