Guantanamera (1995)

“Guantanamera” (1995)

IMDb

the honesty of the vision

If you care about the evolution of thinking regarding social organization, you will necessarily have to go through the biggest fracture in the post-ww2 world. the iron curtain. it’s up to you making your own opinion regarding what each side had to offer, and which sides on each side you support. To help you make up your mind you have to rely on the stories told by those who lived in the flesh the problems and advantages of those worlds. I mean the honest thinkers, or people with honest stories to tell. If you deepen your research on the soviet branch of the curtain, you will necessarily face the cuban case. It’s a fascinating story. And within that story, there are a few honest storytellers. Korda, and Gutierrez-Alea are the most meaningful, they work with images. But while Korda is fundamentally important because he followed the process, the revolution, Gutierrez is someone who was at the beginning, and kept telling his honest version of the reality until his death. Just before that, he made this beautiful film.

So, we know we will watch in his films the narrative of someone who never ceased to make questions, and denounce what he believed was bad, as much as he had denounced the pre-Castro abuses, and as much as he had genuinely embraced the revolution. This is his vision, in the mid 90′. Disenchanted, cynic, ironic. Few times has the road-trip been so metaphorical, so invested with the notion of journey, through time(s), hardly through physical space. Also you can invest any symbolic weight to the corpse they transport. But what i care about is the pure talent Alea had as a true cinematic storyteller. My bet is that he started with images, loose disconnected images that he wanted to pass. Just like the final shot in this film. Than he worked hard on building a narrative structure than could competently, coherently and, y say, poetically, integrate all his multiple visions. The fun thing about his film is that the multiplicity of visions from the same beautiful mind is reflected in the various story lines we follow, each with its own tone, and mode. We have the soap opera story that surrounds the funny life of Mariano, multiple women that mean sex, to him, and one platonic love, reluctant to be consumed. We have the cynic critic to the regime totally invested in the stupidity of the whole funeral service business. That business about inventing rules to spare fuel; all that represented by the frigid bureaucratic husband, a sad portrait to a by now (and than) sad system. Than the heaviest drama falls upon the most delicate soul in the living characters, the old widow, husband to a late artist, the one who never ceases to care about people, eventually the one true love in the story (i’m not sure to consider the teacher a woman in love). Alea doesn’t spare on the cynic posture, so the black humour with the corpse, near the end, really grows an uneasy feel on you. All these lines are perfectly integrated by a well managed road trip, and a good adaptation of an eternal song, which incidentally is an avatar for the cuban soul.

This is like an Italian post-modern “sweet” film, but better, because it is more meaningful.

My opinion: 4/5

This comment on IMDb

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