Humberto Solás – Lucía (1968)

Lucía: In Progress “What can it mean for cinema to be revolutionary? Answering a version of this question in a 1977 interview, the Cuban filmmaker Humberto Solás stressed the importance of real-world context. In a capitalist environment, a revolutionary film must strive for the effect of a guerrilla action, transcending mere analysis or exposé. In a socialist society, however, with the revolution already achieved—as in the Cuba of the sixties, where Solás and his compatriots were forging a very particular cinematic New Wave—what is needed is not a call to arms but a reminder of the work still to come. Such films, Solás argued, ‘must present the revolution as a permanent fact, an ongoing process which nothing can reverse.’ Few movies have ever adopted this mandate with the conceptual sophistication and pointed vigor of Solás’s first full-length feature, Lucía (1968), an astonishing reinvention of the historical epic. With its three parts, which span some seven decades, Lucía is nothing less than an attempt to dramatize the forces of history as they play out in relationships between women and men, and between the individual and the collective. Each section, titled after the year in which its events begin, focuses on a woman named Lucía who is both a participant in a love story and an emblem within a larger political canvas. ‘1895’ takes place during Cuba’s war of independence from Spain, ‘1932’ in the days before and after the uprising against the dictator Gerardo Machado, and ‘196..’ within the approximate present of the movie, in the heady aftermath of the revolution. The protagonist of each story comes from a different social class: the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, and the peasantry. And each tale is told in a markedly different style and register: tragic melodrama for the first, romantic reverie for the second, and knockabout farce for the third. …”
Criterion – Lucía: In Progress
Revisiting LUCÍA, the Hidden Landmark of Cuban Cinema, Now Available in the Criterion Collection
The Revolutionary Cinema of Humberto Solas
Criterion – Cultivating the Legacy of Cuban Cinema: A Conversation with Luciano Castillo
Criterion: Lucia (Start Free Trial)

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