An Initiative for Art and Research


Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (1928–1996) was a renowned Cuban director and one of the founders of the Cuban Institute of Art and Cinematographic Industry (ICAIC).

He was a representative of the so-called Third Cinema in Latin America, and created works in a diverse mix of styles and genres, from comedy to contemporary and historical drama. One of his most well-known films, Memories of Underdevelopment (1968), was stylistically influenced by Italian neorealism and brought him international acclaim. Gutiérrez Alea’s works avoided taking a one-dimensional position toward the Cuban Communist government; instead they revealed a sober view of the Cuban reality. His popular comedy Death of a Bureaucrat (1968) begins with the death of a worker who had developed a way to mass-produce statuettes of revolutionary hero José Martí. Gutiérrez Alea lived and died in Havana.