Humberto Solás – Lucía (1968)

1960s: Days of Rage

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…

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