Image for Santiago Àlvarez – 35mm (N/C 12+)


Santiago Àlvarez – 35mm (N/C 12+)

26 March


Santiago Àlvarez - 35mm

Sat 26 March | 18.30 | GFT

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​Give me two photographs, a moviola and some music and I’ll make you a film.

Santiago Álvarez

A programme of four titles from the 1960s by revolutionary Cuban filmmaker Santiago Álvarez.

In the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) was formed to educate the population in the ideals and potential embodied by the revolutionary process. The first filmmaker to come to the fore, and indeed become the first Cuban filmmaker to gain international recognition, was Santiago Álvarez, who was one of the institute’s founding members.

He was tasked with producing a series of weekly newsreels whose radical form would be dictated by the primitive non-sync sound equipment he was working with, allowing Álvarez to ditch the clichéd omnipotent narrator, and play with a barrage of sound effects.  His influential agitprop ‘nervous montage’ documentaries connected global liberation struggles and anticipated the fascination for appropriating archive footage and imagery in artists’ film today.

Screening from 35mm, this is a rare chance to see some of the few Álvarez films that have been preserved and are still available to the public. 

We regret that this screening is not captioned for d/Deaf audiences. 

Description of image


A montage of different images from the JFK, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy triumphs and assassinations.


A document of the struggle for racial equality waged by Black people, set to a song performed by Lena Horne.

Hasta la Victoria Siempre

Alvarez produced this radical newsreel within forty-eight hours of Che Guevara's death by special request of Fidel Castro himself.f.

79 Springs

A reflection on the Vietnamese people's struggle against the various aggressors that have attempted to conquer their country.

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