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Tomás Gutierrez Alea
In a homage to filmmaker Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, the woman who shared 23 years with him, actress Mirtha Ibarra, commented that when her husbands movies are again screened, nostalgia for deep and intelligent criticism - typical in Cuban movies - once again surfaces.

The most moving lesson Gutiérrez Alea gives us, says Ibarra, is that 11 years after his death the 300 people present - along with many of the actors who had appeared in his movies - seemed to have felt this nostalgia as they applauded scenes from his films.

Memories of Underdevelopment (perhaps his best film), Strawberry and Chocolate (nominated an Oscar in 1994), The Survivors, Death of a Bureaucrat, and A Cuban Battle Against Devils, again caused a sensation in the Museum of Fine Arts, where an exhibition was also inaugurated in memory of "Titón", as everyone called the film director.

In the room full of admirers - among them his own colleagues - a chair was symbolically held with the filmmakers name upon it, and he would occasionally appear on screen in an interview explaining aspects of his esthetic and ethical concepts.

Besides being the most audacious director in Cuban cinematography, Titón was the most intelligent and one of the most serious because he researched every aspect before undertaking the filming of a movie, and would not ignore any opportunity of prompting reflection by the spectator - often involving his own conflicts or those of his time.

In one of the interviews show in this tribute, Gutiérrez Alea said that Memories of Underdevelopment - which takes place in Cuba of the 1960s - deals with the need for human beings to think for themselves at all times. The movie aspires to being - in terms of Cuban society - just a memory.

The Cuban Minister of Culture, Abel Prieto, who was invited to speak by Mirtha Ibarra, said that freedom was one of the favorite themes of Gutiérrez Alea, and that Titón, today, had once more invited us to think for ourselves and that Memories of Underdevelopment was already a movie of the past: "It is one of the greatest bequests to Cuban culture", he added.

The Museum of Fine Arts also provided the public with a wardrobe sample from Titóns movies, as well as posters, prizes and awards received by the director, along with photographs, drawings and paintings by him.

Mirtha Ibarra helped organize the homage, which also included Tomás Gutiérrez Aleas typewriter, his watch, records, books, spectacles and other work tools.

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