Anthology Film Archives


August 23 – August 30

In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the city of Havana, Anthology joins forces with the Cuban Cultural Center of New York to offer a wide-ranging film series inspired by Havana’s history and culture, including Hollywood classics, important Cuban and Cuban-American films, and innovative documentaries by both Cuban and European filmmakers.

Since the 1930s, Havana has often been utilized by Hollywood as a theme or a setting. And Cuban cinema itself, among the most acclaimed in Latin America since the 1960s, has produced numerous independent filmmakers, as well as groundbreaking documentaries on contemporary life in Havana. Embracing this breadth of creativity and the authenticity of a city that has for so long captured the cinematic imagination, “Quo Vadis Havana” showcases a selection of films that are set in Havana or feature the city as a protagonist.

The series is bookended historically by John Huston’s Hollywood drama, WE WERE STRANGERS (1949), which depicts the political turmoil in 1930s Havana during the Machado dictatorship, and Lucy Mulloy’s riveting UNA NOCHE (2012), which reflects the angst of contemporary life in the Cuban capital. In between are British director Carol Reed’s OUR MAN IN HAVANA, filmed on location in the wake of the Revolution; BITTER SUGAR, an AIDS-themed story by Cuban-American director León Ichaso; THE NEW ART OF MAKING RUINS, an eloquent avant-garde documentary by German filmmaker Florian Borchmeyer on the city’s dilapidated landscape; and works by three of the greatest Cuban filmmakers of the last sixty years: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s legendary MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT, Sara Gómez’s exploration of gender and racial inequality in ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, and Fernando Pérez’s poetic and heartrending masterpiece, SUITE HABANA.

Several of the filmmakers will be here in person!

The series is co-presented by the Cuban Cultural Center of New York ( Special thanks to Iraida Iturralde (CCCNY), as well as Florian Borchmeyer; León Ichaso; Lucy Mulloy; Fernando Pérez; Brian Belovarac (Janus Films); Justin DiPietro & AJ McAuley (IFC Films); Carlos A. Gutiérrez & Pilar Garrett (Cinema Tropical); David Jennings (Sony); and Gesa Knolle & Carsten Zimmer (Arsenal Distribution).

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