Nicolás Guillén Landrián – Memory in Progress

Friday 13 November 2020
4.30 – 7pm

Nicolás Guillén Landrián – Memory in Progress + Q&A

Inside Downtown (2001; 29 minutes), Nicolás Guillén Landrián and Jorge Egusquiza 
Retornar a la Habana con Guillén Landrián (2013; 34 minutes), Julio Ramos and Raydel Araoz
Coffea Arábiga (1968; 18 minutes), Nicolás Guillén Landrián

Q & A
Jorge Egusquiza, co-director Inside Downtown 
Dean Luis Reyes, Cuban critic, one of the first critics to start writing about Nicolás Guillén Landrián 
Dr. Jessica Gordon-Burroughs
Lecturer School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
Dr. Raquel Ribeiro
Lecturer in Portuguese 
Head of Spanish Portuguese and Latin American Studies
School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Born in Camagüey, in central Cuba, the son of an attorney – a prominent advocate of Camagüey sugar workers – Guillén Landrián worked intermittently at the Cuban national film institute, ICAIC, in Havana from the early 1960s to the early 1970s, first as a production assistant and later as a director primarily in the newsreel and scientific documentary division. Guillén Landrián was one of only three Afro-Cuban directors active at the ICAIC in its first decade. Nephew of revolutionary Cuba’s national poet Nicolás Guillén and disciple of Joris Ivens and Theodor Christensen, Guillén Landrián shot on 35mm film such Cuban classics as Ociel del Toa (Ociel of the Toa, 1965); Retornar a Baracoa (Return to Baracoa, 1966), about the construction of highways and infrastructure in eastern Cuba; Desde la Habana ¡1969! recordar (From Havana: 1969! Remember, 1969); and the notoriously censored Coffea arábiga (1968), which ironized the Havana greenbelt urban agricultural project, unearthing its racialized undertones. After leaving Cuba for Miami, Florida in 1989, Guillén Landrián filmed in video his final and only audiovisual work in exile, Inside Downtown (2001). Working alongside Jorge Egusquiza Zorilla, Inside Downtown is a charming portrait of artists and poets of Guillén Landrián’s generation, including the cult Afro-Cuban poet, Esteban Luis Cárdenas.Retornar a la Habana con Guillén Landrián (Return to Havana with Guillén Landrián, 2013). This final film contains extensive interviews  with Guillén Landrián’s widow, the painter Gretel Alfonso. An additional interview with Gretel Alfonso will be available during the festival.

Leave a Reply