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Cecilia (1982)

A story of the society that dominated 19th-century Cuba, a society divided between whites, blacks, and those who were mixed, the mulattos. (Since the Spanish conquistadors killed off the ... See full summary »

Director:

Humberto Solás
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Director: Humberto Solás
Stars: Raquel Revuelta, Eslinda Núñez, Adela Legrá
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Cast

Credited cast:
Daisy Granados Daisy Granados ... Cecilia
Imanol Arias ... Leonardo
Raquel Revuelta Raquel Revuelta ... Madre de Leonardo
Miguel Benavides Miguel Benavides
Eslinda Núñez Eslinda Núñez
Nelson Villagra Nelson Villagra
César Évora César Évora
Linda Mirabal Linda Mirabal
José Antonio Rodríguez José Antonio Rodríguez ... Uribe
Antonia Valdés Antonia Valdés
Gerardo Riverón Gerardo Riverón
Omara Portuondo
María Regla Gutiérrez María Regla Gutiérrez
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alfredo Mayo ... General Vives
Alberto Molina Alberto Molina ... El Mayoral
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Storyline

A story of the society that dominated 19th-century Cuba, a society divided between whites, blacks, and those who were mixed, the mulattos. (Since the Spanish conquistadors killed off the Indian population in Cuba not long after they took over the island, there are no mestizos, or those of mixed-Indian blood in Cuba as in other Caribbean nations.) At any rate, the drama about the life and loves of Cecilia, a Cuban girl of mixed race takes place against the backdrop of graphically violent mistreatment of slaves and the rumors of a slave rebellion after the Cubans hear of slaves turning against their captors in Haiti. Raised by her mother and grandmother as a courtesan within the ruling white establishment, pale-skinned Cecilia soon catches the eye of estate owner's son Leonardo. Exploiting her position of power, Cecilia bows to Leonardo's demands providing he agrees to shelter a wounded member of the resistance movement at his home. Leonardo's wealthy father Cándido de Gamboa, a rich ... Written by lament

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Cuba | Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

10 August 1984 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Cecylia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Alternate Versions

UK versions are cut by 5 minutes for an '18' rating. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Humberto Solás' Favorite Film
24 January 2010 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

If Humberto Solás were still alive he would laugh at those calling "Cecilia" melodramatic cinema as if it were a fault, when that was probably the genre he felt at home as a filmmaker and what he intended to do with the film. In his best-regarded motion picture, "Lucía" (1968), it was obvious that he enjoyed more than anything else the first of the three stories, taking place in the 19th century. So it was not strange that he revisited period melodrama, this time with the biggest budget ever had by a Cuban film at that time (or perhaps ever), to make a more-than-free adaptation of Cirilo Villaverde's "Cecilia Valdés o La Loma del Ángel" (Cecilia Valdés, or The Hill of the Angel), considered the national novel in Cuba. Solás and his team of scriptwriters —including his longtime companion, film editor Nelson Rodríguez; Jorge Ramos, and Nelson's cousin, Norma Torrado, a Santera and film editor of Santiago Álvarez's classic documentaries— intended to give the old novel some relevance in the present (from a Marxist point of view, as he declared), even introducing elements of the Yoruba religion called Santería, and establishing a parallel between what was left of the story told by Villaverde, and the fable of two of the main gods of the Yoruba Olympus: the sensual Ochún and her lover Shangó, echoed by the love Pimienta (Miguel Benavides) has for Cecilia, leading to a tragic scene in the cathedral of La Habana. In the novel, Cecilia was a young mulatto woman who was decided to marry a Spaniard. Unluckily for her, she chose Leonardo Gamboa, who turned out to be her brother. Solás, Rodríguez, Ramos, and Torrado changed all this, turning Cecilia into a grown-up woman who is in the verge of becoming a spinster, and moved the incestuous relationship from the lovers to Leonardo and his mother. They gave great relevance to the Cuban movement of independence from Spain (turning it into an icon in the figure of young and beautiful César Évora, who had turned 20 years old at that time, and latter became a star of soap operas in México); and gave full reign to exaggerated emotions (and acting, mostly in the case of Raquel Revuelta, who was the top figure of the Cuban stage for various decades, and --as somebody mentioned--, in the make-up department indeed! Imanol Arias as the rich momma's boy, looks as a effeminate weakling besides Cecilia, he is a ghastly figure, almost a vampire, roaming the dark streets of La Habana, after a little girl). And let us not forget the music: Leo Brouwer, the composer, underlined this bigger than life melodrama. I remember watching first the international version, a reduced edition for exportation, and feeling when the projection ended that I wanted to see more, the whole thing. Then I watched the copy shown in Cannes (where it was a strong contender for the Palme d'Or), and finally the version edited for television in five chapters, which is, I believe, the best way to appreciate this great work by Solás, that , no wonder, was his favorite motion picture. Every peso invested in the production can be seen, there was nothing wasted, and people have the chance to see some of Cuba's biggest artists on the screen —as singer Omara Portuondo, of "Buena Vista Social Club" fame, playing the owner of a bordello for the Spanish aristocracy in La Habana. Watch it if you have time, and if you are not in a rush to watch an action "movie".


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