Cuba 50 is supported by the
Cuban Ministry of Culture, Cuban Embassy,
ComoNo, Music Fund for Cuba, Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Unison, Unite,
Thompsons Solicitors, Cuban Tourist Board and business, community and
cultural organisations based in the UK and Cuba.
Memories of Underdevelopment + Intro - Sat 14 April 13.30 This classic 1968 film, written and directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, centres on Sergio, a young man from a wealthy middle class family who has stayed in post-revolutionary Cuba whilst many around him have fled, as he reflects on the changes in society brought about by the revolution. Consistently engaging in its cinematic sophistication, Memorias del subdesarollo is widely considered a landmark in world cinema. This screening will be introduced by Prof Andy Willis, University of Salford & HOME's Visiting Curator: Film.
Sergio & Sergei - sat 14 April and sat 22 April 1991: the USSR disintegrates and Cuba enters a dire economic crisis. Sergio, a radio ham and professor of Marxism, struggles to provide for his family. Meanwhile Sergei, the last Soviet cosmonaut, finds himself nearly forgotten on the Mir space station. By chance, Sergio and Sergei make contact and strike up a friendship that will help both men to face the huge changes transforming their respective countries. Meanwhile, Sergio's communications with the Russian cosmonaut and Peter, a radio ham from New York, are under covert surveillance. This joyful political satire is great fun to watch, packed with absurdist comedy and warm-hearted characters.
Buena Vista Social Club Sun 15 April & Wed 17 April the 1999 Wim Wenders documentary
Last Days in Havana Tues 17 April & Mon 23 April In Havana, Miguel dreams of escape to the USA. Working as a kitchen porter, he endures a tortuous wait for the longed-for visa. Diego, the friend he shares an apartment with, dreams of life. Suffering from AIDS, he is confined to his bed, and yet he is the vivacious one. Diego is a gay, positive, bright hero, while Miguel is an asexual, negative, dark anti-hero. But theirs is a contradictory and indestructible friendship, sustained by the secrets of a shared past. Along with a supporting cast of exuberant and chaotic characters, this is a touching portrait of ordinary folk struggling to thrive and survive.
Sat 14 April 4.30pm Contemporary Cuban Cinema
This talk will provide an illustrated overview of Cuban cinema, its transformation, and its place in Latin America cinema. Carmen Herrero will consider how Cuban filmmakers have adopted and adapted different cinematographic styles and genres, looking at the representation of Cuban history, identities and memory, and providing context for the new and archive Cuban films screening during the festival. Led by Dr Carmen Herrero, Principal Lecturer in Spanish, Manchester Metropolitan University.