At the age of 14, Humberto Solás left home to participate in a guerilla struggle against Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship. After Castro’s victory, he would graduate from University with a degree in history; perhaps explaining the attention devoted to history by Solás’ in his films. After joining Cuba’s state film school (ICAIC), he worked on a series of shorts which he would later disown for its imitation of European films and lack of involvement with Cuban reality. He regarded the 1966 film, Manuela, as his first real film. The film earned praise for featuring a woman farm worker’s engagement in guerilla warfare. Solás films often centered on women, who he felt were ideally placed to present a critique on society. Lucía, made in 1968, was a sensation on initial release. It narrated the story of three women named Lucía across the history of Cuba. Its popular success led it to becoming, along with Memories of Underdevelopment, the banner film of Cuban cinema.
Inspired by Luchino… read more