UH Manoa Spanish Professor Publishes Book About Prominent Cuban Filmmaker

University of Hawaiʻi
Paul Schroeder, (808) 956-5973
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: Aug 15, 2002

University of Hawaii at Manoa Assistant Professor of Spanish Paul A. Schroeder has published the first comphrensive book on Cuba‘s most prominent filmmaker, Tomas Gutierrez Alea. The book serves simultaneously as biography, filmography, and cultural reading of his work, with special emphasis on Memories of Underdevelopment, The Last Supper, and Strawberry and Chocolate.

According to Schroeder, each of these films is symptomatic of an identifiable period in revolutionary Cuba: the period of triumph and affirmation in the 1960s, the period of consolidation and institutionalization in the 1970s, and the period of crisis since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

"His films give testimony to a collective project full of contradictions, a process that has been, successively, progressive and reactionary, machista and feminist, dogmatic and tolerant, heroic and tragic," Schroeder said. "To paraphrase Alea, it is a project whose truth does not lie in any of these poles, but rather in their confrontation, and especially in what that confrontation suggests within a context that includes the Cold War, Latin America‘s Revolutionary struggles for emancipation, and Cuba‘s own specific circumstances."

Schroeder, who specializes in Latin American literature and film, plans to integrate the book into his class "History of World Cinema: New National Cinemas to the Present" in Spring 2003.

Schroeder earned his doctorate degree in Spanish from Stanford University in 2000, and is currently working on a book on Latin American migrations in cinema. Tomas Gutierrez Alea: The Dialectics of a Filmmaker, is published by Routledge Press and may be ordered through www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.