Some Generalities about the Cuban Cinema in the Revolution Period
The Cuban cinema of the Revolution was defined in the early days of 1959 with the creation of the film department within the Directorate of Culture of the Rebel Army, which produced documentaries such as This Land of Tomas Gutiérrez Alea and The Housing of Julio Garcia Espinosa . This department would become the predecessor of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC by the Spanish acronyms), which was founded in March 1959 as a result of the first Culture Act. As an institution, the ICAIC began the program of Cinemoviles (Moving Movies), which takes the cinema to remote regions of the cities and helped to promote the Sound Experimentation Group between 1969 and 1977, which influenced and sponsored Cuban music, especially the Nueva Trova . Figures such as Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes and Leo Brouwer, were some of the artists who participated in the program.
Relevant Works of the Cuban Cinema of the Revolution
The Cuban cinema of the Revolution saw the birth of great many fiction films, but works like Lucia (1968) by Humberto Solas and Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) by Tomas Gutiérrez Alea stand. Within the production of documentaries we can find Now (1965), by Santiago Alvarez, which combines a song with an uninterrupted session of images that show racial discrimination in the United States. In a Certain Way (1974), by Sara Gomez, is an intelligent critic of machismo and racism that still existed in Cuba, among many others. Characteristic of the revolutionary cinema is the production of Cuban cartoons that began in 1974 with the film Elpidio Valdes which represents a mambi warrior battling for the Cuban independence against the Spanish occupation in XIX Century and that was popularized among Cuban children. Another outstanding animated film is Vampiros en La Habana
(Vampires in Havana) in 1983, also by Juan Padron. Another one of the outstanding films of this production is Strawberry and Chocolate (1993) by Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabio and which deals with the intolerance and presents the friendship between a homosexual and a young revolutionary militant of the Union of Young Communists. It was the first Cuban film nominated for the Oscars.
Artists Creators in Cuban Cinema in the Revolution Period
A more recent stage of Cuban cinema in the Revolution highlights the works of young Cuban filmmakers, presented at the National Film Show of New Directors of ICAIC (2000- today), mainly composed of documentaries and short films made in digital format, and with independent budgets. Among the new authors of the independent Cuban cinema are Esteban Insausti, Miguel Coyula, Eduardo del Llano, Pavel Giroud, Ernesto Daranas, Alina Rodriguez, Ian Padron, Carlos Rodriguez, Gustavo Perez, among many others. There have also been outstanding authors of great experience, such as Fernando Perez, for works such as Madagascar, La vida es silbar (Life is Whistle), Suite Habana, etc.