The golden age of Latin American Cinema – The serie
A documentary directed by Ramon Suarez.
The serie is composed by the three following episodes :
This Mexican story began at the Cannes Film Festival, in France, in 1946. That year, a Mexican film was awarded the Palme D’or which advised the world of cinema and the public that something had changed in Mexico. That film, called “Maria Candelaria” had been made by Emilio Fernandez and the main part was played by Dolores Del Rio. Many in the public were surprised to find out that the superb actress, playing a tragic figure, beautifully filmed by Gabriel Figueroa, was one of the favourite and most exotic actresses in the American cinema industry .She starred in Raoul Walsh’s and King Vidor’s movies but also played in a large number of musicals in the Hollywood way… The film swept the prizes at many film festivals, and Dolores became an icon.
In March 1959, will be created in Havana the ICAIC, the Cuban Institute of Art and Cinematographic Industry. It is the first act of the cultural policy of the new mode. During the ten years which will follow, under the aegis of this organization the Cuban cinema makes incredible great strides. With the ICAIC, a new generation of scenario writers emerges and is put at the work – of Gutierrez Alea in Humberto Solas — of Alberto Roldan in Julio Garcia Espinosa. The films which these young realizers will make concern neither a school, nor of a kind. It acts of a popular cinema in its gasoline and its accounts. Foreign realizers will also come them to work in Havana for this period: Chris Marker, Joris Ivens, Agnes Varda, Armand Gatti will turn to Cuba. It is the history of this exceptional adventure — which lasted eight years — that we will tell in this documentary, interfering interviews and extracts films.
Cinema Novo, born at the end of the 1950’s, ranked Brazilian cinema among the world’s greatest modern productions. Five filmmakers of this period remember this adventure, which gave Brazilian cinema an identity of its own. They recount how, notwithstanding the conservative society, they overcame all financial, technical and political obstacles. They invented a new film expression and created a typical Brazilian cinema. As a conclusion to the film, two young filmmakers evoke the tremendous influence of Cinema Nova on their generation. The structure of the film relies on the protagonists’ different testimonies. As Cinema Novo did in its time, it is trying to question the links between creation, the history of a country and its society at a particular moment. Through the example of Brazilian movies the film also tries to underline how universal this question is.