Sergio (Sergio Corrieri), through his life following the departure of his wife, parents and friends in the wake of the Bay of Pigs incident. Alone in a brave new world, Sergio observes the constant threat of foreign invasion while chasing young women all over Havana before finally meeting Elena (Daisy Granados), a young virgin girl he seeks to mould into the image of his ex-wife, but at what cost to himself?Written by
Sergio Carmona Mendoyo:
One thing about people that upsets me is their inability to sustain something without collapsing. Take Elena: she was totally inconsistent. Didn't relate things. That's a symptom of underdevelopment: the inability to relate things, to gain experience, develop. It's difficult here because women are conditioned by sentiments and culture. A soft environment. People waste talents on inconsistent adaptations. They always need someone to think for them.
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There is much that is wonderful about this film, the first Cuban film to be released in the U.S. after the Revolution. I found the ending rather abrupt and unsatisfying and some of the political discussions were long-winded (the fast disappearing subtitles on the video didn't help), but overall "Memories" was vibrant and surprising. The film is made with a lot of the spirit of the French New Wave, lots of flashy film techniques. It felt surprisingly open and honest to me, to have come out of Cuba at the time it did. It depicts an intellectual who has opted to remain in Cuba despite his well-off family and his wife having taken off for the U.S. He stays, wanting to see "how everything turns out". Afflicted with a rather massive case of both ennui and horniness, the film captures his musings on the state of Cuban society, at times satirical and sensual, but always cut through with a pervading sense of melancholy. It makes me want to hunt down more works by its late director, Tomas Gutierrez Alea.
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