Tomás Gutiérrez Alea

Composite image of stills from four films by director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.
Catch six restored works by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea—Cuba’s foremost filmmaker.

Cinematic giant Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (1928–1996) is widely regarded as Cuba’s foremost filmmaker. From comedies and satires to historical epics, his stylistically daring films explore life in postrevolutionary Cuba. This June, the Wexner Center brings six of Gutiérrez Alea’s restored works to the big screen, including his critically acclaimed masterpiece Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) as well as rarely seen gems like The Last Supper (1976).

Gutiérrez Alea wrote and directed more than 20 features, documentaries, and short films throughout his life. Steeped in film history during his studies at Rome’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Gutiérrez Alea pays homage in his films to the greats who inspired him, including Charlie Chaplin and Luis Buñuel. Following the Cuban revolution in 1959, and with the support of the Castro regime, he and a group of other young filmmakers founded the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC). The collective advocated for film as an art form and as the best method of disseminating revolutionary ideals to the masses. Ever dedicated to the revolution, his films nonetheless deftly critique the social, economic, and political realities of life in Cuba.

Special thanks to Patrick Steele, Cohen Film Collection, and MotZoriongo TV, S.A. (Mexico) for their support of this series.

Clockwise from top left: Death of a Bureaucrat, A Cuban Fight Against Demons, The Survivors, The Last Supper; courtesy of Cohen Film Collection.

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Copromotional support provided by Ohio State's Center for Latin American Studies.

National Endowment for the Arts
Ohio Humanities

Rohauer Collection Foundation