April 20, 2016 - When the widow of Cuban filmmaker Tomás Gutiérrez Alea reached out to Margherita Tortora, senior lecturer in Spanish at Yale, to ask if she would consider a celebration of her late husband’s work on the 20th anniversary of his death, Tortora jumped at the opportunity. She knew that she had limited resources to put on a film festival, but that hadn’t stopped her in the past. Alea’s widow, the director and actress Mirta Ibarra, was excited. This way, both students and members of the public could benefit from a re-evaluation of the work of one of the most influential directors in Cuban history.
This Thursday through Saturday, those months of planning will come to fruition when a local series about contemporary Latin American cinema comes to a close with a five-film tribute to Alea, showcasing the Cuban director’s resonant, ambivalent patriotism. Four of his most celebrated films, as well as a documentary about the director, will play at Yale’s Luce Hall auditorium at 34 Hillhouse Avenue. All of the screenings are free and open to the public.