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The Last Supper (1976)

La última cena (original title)
A pious plantation owner attempts to teach Christianity to 12 of his slaves by inviting them to participate in a reenactment of the Last Supper.

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(dialogue), (novel) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nelson Villagra
Silvano Rey
Luis Alberto García
José Antonio Rodríguez
Samuel Claxton
Mario Balmaseda
Idelfonso Tamayo
Julio Hernandez
Tito Junco
Andrés Cortina
Mirta Ibarra
Elio Mesa
Francisco Borroto
Luis Salvador Romero
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Storyline

During Holy Week at the end of the eighteenth century, a count visits his Havana sugar mill on a day a slave has run away. The count tells his cruel overseer, Don Manuel, to pick 12 slaves who will be guests at the count's table. Don Manuel objects, but to no avail. The twelfth guest is the recaptured runaway. During the dinner, using religious analogies, the count lectures his guests on the perfect happiness possible in slavery. They in turn tell stories and make requests. He promises no work on Good Friday, but he leaves early that morning and Don Manuel rousts the slaves for a long day cutting cane. They rebel. Which side will the count take? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

3 November 1977 (Cuba)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Supper  »

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Connections

References Viridiana (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
they probably couldn't have made this movie twenty years earlier
19 July 2008 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Admittedly, it's very likely improbable that a slave owner would do anything to treat his slaves as his equals. But apparently, "La ultima cena" ("The Last Supper" in English) is based on true events, although I don't know whether or not they changed anything. The movie portrays a slave owner in 18th century Cuba reenacting the famous final meal of Jesus, having his slaves play the disciples.

Of course, the movie's main purpose is to show slavery's brutality and the racism that was law of the land at the time. Aside from the total cruelty inflicted on black people - namely what the slave owner does at the end - someone talks about how white has to come before black (I can't remember the exact line, but it was something like that). As it was, this continued through the 1950s: even though Fulgencio Batista was dictator, he was mulatto and got excluded from an all-white club near Havana. It was only after the revolution that blacks achieved equal status.

For the most part, I recommend this movie. We may have read volumes about slavery, but you have to see it depicted; of course, probably no film can make us truly understand how horrible it was to experience slavery. This movie does what it can. Tomas Gutierrez Alea has turned out some good work.


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