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The First Charge of the Machete
Original title:
La primera carga al machete
Slovenian title:
Prvi napad z mačeto
Section:
FOCUS: CUBAN CINEMA 60
Country, year:
Cuba, 1969
Length:
78
Directed by:
Manuel Octavio Gómez
Screenplay:
Alfredo L. del Cueto, Julio García Espinosa, Manuel Octavio Gómez, Jorge Herrero
Cinematography:
/
Music:
Leo Brouwer Mezquida, Pablo Milanés
Subtitles:
English, slovenian
Language:
Spanish
Voting code:
/
Cast:
Adolfo Llauradó (poveljnik), José Rodríguez (bojevnik), Idalia Anreus, Eslinda Núnez, Pablito Milanés
Awards:
Venice 1969 (Luis Buńuel Award)

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Description:
One of the aesthetic and experimental highlights of revolutionary Cuban cinema.
Cuban director Gómez combines elements of documentary form with extreme stylization in this experimental retelling of a battle between Cuban rebels and the Spanish army in 1868 when slaves were freed and armed with sugar cane machetes in the Cuban war of independence. In blending different cinematic techniques and approaches, such as hand-held camera shots, interviews and raw, unengineered sound, the director succeeds in capturing the poetical authenticity of the era.

"To follow a traditional narrative strategy, making a number of main characters the pivot of the film, would have been totally out of keeping with the theme. Once involved in the research, I was amazed to discover a kind of journalism in the archival sources that seemed remarkably contemporary, based on interviews and direct reportage. Suddenly, the right approach came to me full-blown: información directa, a very contemporary, news-oriented reportage similar to what we now associate with televised documentary." (Manuel Octavio Gómez)