Sara Gómez

Scen.: Tomás González, Sara Gómez. F.: Luis García. M.: Caíta Villalón. Mus.: Chucho Valdés. Int.: Sara Gómez (voce narrante), Isaura Mendoza (voce narrante). Prod.: Jesús Pascau, ICAIC. DCP. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

An energetic example of direct cinema, the story of one of the thousands of people under the age of 35 who arrived in waves to the Isla de Pinos during the first seven years of the Cuban Revolution. Miguel, one of 12 children from a poor neighbourhood in Havana, and a member of the Vikingos gang, was sent to La isla to become a new man. Gómez’s portrait provides the family its dignity, respects Miguel’s youthfulness, and offers the viewer a deep dive into the issues facing marginal people in Cuba 10 years after the Revolution. In 1968, Gómez turned her camera on the Isla de Pinos (later named Isla de la Juventud), where marginalized people (young, black, poor, gay, religious, hippies) were sent not only to work for but also to benefit from and indeed make the Revolution through “hard work” and re-education. These “Pioneers of the future” would become the ageless face of the Revolution. Gómez made three documentaries there: En la otra Isla, Una isla para Miguel, and Isla del Tesoro. Together they portray La isla as an experiment in communist living, a world ruled by young people, a condensation of many of the dreams and failures of the Revolution’s experiments.

Susan Lord

Copy From

Scanned in 4K using the only surviving 16mm print by the Department of Film & Media of the Queen’s University in Kingston (Canada). Restored in 2021 by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory