De Cierta Manera
Sara Gómez’s first and only feature film, De Cierta Manera (One Way or Another), is a landmark in Cuban cinema, being the first feature in Cuba to be shot by a woman and one of the few made by an Afro-Cuban director. Blending documentary images with various narrative modes, the film criticises the Revolution from the inside using the form of a romantic drama. By focussing on Yolanda, a young schoolteacher, and her relationship with Mario, the film explores how racism, sexism and class prejudice threaten the Revolution’s goal of creating a truly egalitarian society. Sara Gómez died during production. The film was finished by editor Ivan Arocha, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and other colleagues.
Sara Gomez: Born in 1943 in Havana, Sara Gomez studied literature, the piano and Afro-Cuban ethnography before turning to cinema. She went on to become Cuba’s first woman director. In 1961, she enrolled in the ICAIC (Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry) and worked notably as assistant director alongside Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Jorge Fraga and Agnès Varda.
The Arsenal: Communicating international film culture in a lively manner is both the aim and mission of Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art. Working at the point where practice and theory come together, the institute comprises a space for thinking outside the box in (film) cultural terms, a cinema whose attention is focused on independent and experimental film and a communication platform for promoting dynamic exchange between film, academia and art linked to a whole network of different organizations. The film collection is a mirror of the institution’s curatorial practice. An important part of the film holdings originate from the programming of the Berlinale Forum that is organized by Arsenal since its beginning in 1971, and the Berlinale Forum Expanded since 2006. Since 2011 the Arsenal has become increasingly dedicated to archival work. How the collection is treated remains as unorthodox as always. A film only gets meaning by being seen and remembered, not just after being restored, but already at the stage in which the decision is made as to what to do with it. For this reason, at the Arsenal every user of the archive is potentially an archivist. It is Arsenal’s policy that preservation projects also serve the purpose of making the films available in the country of production.