Sara Gómez × 4
- Sara Gómez Documentary Shorts
- Sara Gómez × 4
- February 8 (Thursday) 6:30
I’m Going to Santiago
(Iré a Santiago)
15 min. DCP
A public relations film in a quintessentially Cuban style, I’m Going to Santiago includes humour, disruption, and musical interludes. It is an example of direct cinema, with a handheld camera and portable microphones. The film was shot in Santiago, Cuba, and depicts Afro-Cubans in everyday life. The film also casts light on Afro-Cuban identity and its relationship with the broader Caribbean, focusing on tradition, colonialism, heritage, and music.
An Island for Miguel
(Una isla para Miguel)
22 min. DCP
Co-written by Sara Gómez and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (director of 1968’s Memories of Underdevelopment), with music by Chucho Valdés. Taking place nine years after Fidel Castro came to power, An Island for Miguel focuses on Cuban adolescents. It depicts the Isla de Pinos (now Isla de la Juventud), which was used as a reformatory for young Cubans during the early years of the revolution. The film presents and contrasts the testimonies of the directors of the institution and the families of the young people sent to the island. An Island for Miguel is an ironic commentary on the supposedly revolutionary institutions of the period.
33 min. DCP
Perhaps Sara Gómez’s most complex documentary, it depicts a woman at a labour camp during the revolution. Thirteen years after the start of the revolution, Gómez challenges the ongoing privileges of class, gender, and well-being that persist despite the changes to Cuban society.
In Spanish with English subtitles
Introduced by Susan Lord, Arturo Victoriano, and Crystal Webster
Film notes provided by Benjamin Bryce
Susan Lord is professor in the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s University and director of the Vulnerable Media Lab, which restored the four Gómez shorts in the program. She also co-edited The Cinema of Sara Gómez: Reframing Revolution.
Arturo Victoriano is an assistant professor in the Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies at UBC. His research focuses on the literatures and cultures of the Hispanic Caribbean with an emphasis on issues of race, gender, diaspora, and national belonging. He is the author of Rayanos y Dominicanyorks: La dominicanidad del siglo XXI (Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana, 2014).
Crystal Webster is an associate professor in the Department of History at UBC. Her research focuses on African American history, gender, the history of childhood and youth, and carceral studies. She is the author of Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: African American Children in the Antebellum North (University of North Carolina Press, 2021).