The Cuban Institute on Cinematographic Arts and Industry (ICAIC) was the first cultural institution created in the fervent early months of the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Almost immediately, ICAIC began producing a weekly newsreel, Noticiero latinoamericano, which served to inform, entertain, and influence Cuban and Latin American audiences about regional and world events. Under the tremendous pressures of time and scrutiny, and with very little training or available resources, leftist intellectual filmmakers like Santiago Álvarez and Alfredo Guevara created propaganda newsreels that are nonetheless remarkable for their formal daring. Nearly 1,500 newsreels were shot all over the world, from Chile to Vietnam, until the hardships of the Special Period caused a crisis in the film industry and ended the initiative in 1990. These films constitute a unique and invaluable chronicle of Cuban revolutionary history, offering a populist Latin American perspective on a variety of political and social themes, and in 2009 they were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. MoMA’s To Save and Project, in association with the French Embassy in the USA, presents a program of excerpts from Noticiero latinoamericano—on a whirlwind of subjects ranging from Castro to Hemingway, carnival in Havana to “improvements” in the sugar industry—that have been digitally preserved by INA, Paris, in a special arrangement with ICAIC. Thanks to Mathieu Fournet and Amélie Garin-Davet, French Embassy. In Spanish; English subtitles. 45 min.
T1, Theater 1
Introduced by Brice Amouroux, Head of Project Management Unit, Collections Department, INA