Winter 2005 Cuba Film Series

CUBA: A Film Series
Sundays  ••  2pm  ••  De Paul University
Schmitt Academic Center  ••  Room 254

Sponsored by the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5
773-376-7521  ••  773-465-0177  ••

Che: Love, Politics and Rebelliousness •• November 21
A documentary on the life and contributions of Che Guevara.  This is a Cuban film of Che.  We think you’ll find it an honest and unromanticized account of his life and his role in the Cuban revolution.

Portrait of Teresa •• December 12
An excellent and uncompromising fictional movie on women’s liberation, the issues women face in terms of traditional ideas held by both men and women, and the practical day-to-day difficulties women confront in their struggle for self- determination.  Teresa, a housewife, incurs the displeasure of her husband because of her involvement in political and cultural groups.   Teresa stands as a model of the modern woman determined to struggle to attain her liberation.

Fidel •• January 23
Estela Bravo’s recent documentary does not focus on Fidel the man, like Oliver Stone’s film, but shows him in terms of the role he has played in the history of the Cuban revolution.  It presents an excellent overview of the phases of the revolution.  It shows why Fidel has earned respect and admiration around the world. . . and why he is so hated in Washington!

Memories of Underdevelopment •• February 20
This was the first film from revolutionary Cuba to be released in the U.S.  It established Tomas Gutierrez Alea as a leader among non-Hollywood film-makers, and had an impact unequaled in the history of Third World cinema. Set in the 1960s, the film centers on a Europeanized Cuba intellectual, too idealistic to leave for Miami, but too decadent to fit into the new society.

Up to a Certain Point •• March 13
Another film from Tomas Gutierrez Alea questions the hypocrisy of men who profess support for women’s rights but fail to challenge their own old-fashioned attitudes and lampoons self-proclaimed intellectuals who look down on workers.

Desafio (Challenge) •• April 10
In the 1990s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the tightening of the US blockade, Cuba faced a crisis known on the island as the Special Period.  Desafio presents a good introduction to the challenges of the period and shows how the Cuban people have fought to maintain their revolution.

Waiting List •• May 8
Juan Carlos Tabio’s magical comic hit is almost a Cuban-socialist-humanist Waiting for Godot.  A run-down bus station in rural Cuba is the setting, a disparate group of passengers are the characters, and it’s the bus for which they wait and which never arrives.  As they come to the realization that they’re stuck living in the station, they use their time to fix it up. . . and, of course, to engage in amorous pursuits.  Set in the Special Period, Waiting List shows what the Cuban people can accomplish left to themselves.  “Con lo que tengo, me basta:”  with what I’ve got, I’ll make do.

Butterflies on the Scaffold •• June 12
A historically poor and abandoned Afro-Cuban neighborhood of Havana is transformed by beautiful and charismatic drag queens.  Cuba’s first and only “dragumentary” takes us on stage for the show, backstage for the preparation, and out to the community, where interviews with community leaders show how their attitudes changed and their insight grew.

Greening of the Revolution •• July 10
Cuban farmers and scientists work to reinvent a sustainable agriculture based on ecological principals and local knowledge, rather than imported agricultural inputs.  Cuba is now the country most advanced in the development of organic farming.  Told in the voices of Cuba’s campesinos (farmers), researchers, and organic gardeners, The Greening of Cuba reminds us that First and Third World nations alike can choose a healthier life and still feed their people.

All films are in English, or in Spanish with English subtitles.  Schmitt Academic Center is located at 2320 N. Kenmore, near the Fullerton stop on the Red Line.

For more information on Cuba, visit:
Center for Cuban Studies at
US-Cuba Sister Cities Association at
Cuba Central at
Pastors for Peace at


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