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Retrato de Teresa (1979)

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Teresa is overwhelmed: with a husband, three young sons, a job as a crew leader in a textile factory, and volunteer commitments as cultural leader of her union. Her husband, Ramón, wants ... See full summary »


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Title: Retrato de Teresa (1979)

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Teresa is overwhelmed: with a husband, three young sons, a job as a crew leader in a textile factory, and volunteer commitments as cultural leader of her union. Her husband, Ramón, wants more of her attention; her feelings are mixed, wanting domestic peace, feeling responsibilities to the revolution, and wanting to control her own life beyond doing dirty dishes. They separate; he begins an affair. When he wants a reconciliation, she asks what his response would be if she'd had an affair too. "But men are different," is his reply. He's failed her test, and to hold on to independence and self-respect, she remains uncompromising and hard-edged. Written by <>

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Release Date:

27 November 1981 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Portrait of Teresa  »

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User Reviews

A Liberated Woman Of Independent Means

*warning: certain scenes analyzed which may reveal plot*

A classic Cuban film which portrays the problems of Cuban women under the revolution. Teresa, a factory worker, has three sons and a traditional, rather suspicious husband. She takes on the job of cultural secretary at the factory despite misgivings that she won't be able to handle the many demands on her time. The new responsibilities increase her husband's jealousy and make her feel increasingly inadequate. Teresa throws her husband out after an ugly scene, and is left shouldering the day-to-day burdens of life under the revolution. Her husband is suddenly promoted to a technical position as a TV repair man in a far away city and he comes crawling back in attempts to get his wife and children to move with him. The double standard is evident when he commits to another woman and defends his position because "he is a man". At this point Teresa begins to question her cultural identity by asking, "what if I had an affair?" and he denies that it would be similar, so she realizes that he in fact has not changed. We in fact do not know if Teresa actually had an affair, that is not at stake here, it is the hypothetical possibility. Not a bad little film from Cuba considering that the budget was so low they could barely afford film and had to beg on the street for sandwiches for the crew and cast. Look for an 7 year old Ricky Martin as the role of the oldest brother. This is a straight, social-realist perspective and it is filmed in that manner, no cinematic angles or de-constructed themes, so it reads like a play and may bore the common movie goer but it is enjoyable. It is clearly outdated by today's standard but the human element is timeless and that is what holds it together. The actors are all capable and even show a certain amount of wonderful expression in certain scenes. There's a certain despondency at looking at Cuba in this time. The streets are dirty, crowded, the houses are barren and empty, which radiate with the sordid lives around them. Obviously the "revolution" is a flaw and failure, the director intended to make Teresa's final liberation at the end of the film solely based on individual merit. Nominated at the Moscow International Film Festival for two awards, it won only one, the Golden Prize for Best Actress Daisy Granados. Casting the obvious communist proselytizing aside, the award was well deserved.

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