Sunday, July 26, 2015

493. LUCIA (1969)

Running Time: 160 minutes
Directed By: Humberto Solas
Written By: Julio Garcia Espinosa, Nelson Rodriguez, Humberto Solas
Main Cast: Raquel Revuelta, Eslinda Nunez, Adela Legra, Tete Vergara, Idalina Anreus


I'll do a "NON-BOOK Movies" update on my next review, as I'm a little pressed for time tonight. For anyone who cares (I'm guessing no one), I no longer have my weekend on Tuesdays and Wednesdays anymore and now have Tuesdays and Saturdays off. Therefore, since my wife is still working Saturdays at her job, I should be able to pound out at least one film every Saturday, from now until the finish line. Let's commence...

So the film is actually three short films, crushed into one movie, all three stories revolving around a girl named Lucia (all different women, they just all have the same name). The first one takes place in the late 1800s and this Lucia (Revuelta) is a proper, bourgeoisie woman, who associates herself with other bourgeoisie personalities. When she meets a man, coming from church, the two fall almost immediately in love. Later, Lucia finds out that he has a wife and child in another town and swears him off, only to fall in love with him again when he comes back and pleads with her to forgive him. The two are married and Lucia takes him to a coffee plantation where rebels (including her beloved brother) are hidden. Chaos ensues...

Part two's Lucia (Nunez), is a naive young girl, who goes to the Keys with her mother, at her father's request. Once there, her mother and Lucia quarrel and Lucia eventually meets Aldo, a young revolutionary who is determined to overthrow the current head of government, a vicious dictator. Lucia begins campaigning against the dictator as well, joining her husband in the fight and the two fall in love and are presumably married (although the ceremony is never shown). Lucia becomes pregnant, meanwhile Aldo is insistent on being a young revolutionary.

The final Lucia (Legra) is a field worker, at a farm. One day while hauling a sack of sweet potatoes, she is picked up by a young man. The two hit it off and are married (this time, we do see the ceremony, as well as the reception that follows). We see a montage that shows the newlyweds' in their happy, early days and then the wedding bells begin to fade and the husband becomes jealous, going so far as to board up the windows, so that he can lock Lucia up when he's at work. He refuses to let her continue working in the field, even though she wants to and refuses to even let other men look at her. When it is decreed that Lucia must learn to read & write, a male tutor must enter the home to teach her, which of course, sets off the husband.

Had a real hard time finding pictures to add to this review. Luckily, however, I managed to nab one of Eslinda Nunez, my favorite of the three Lucia actresses. 

Let's keep it short & sweet tonight, as again, I'm a bit pressed for time. I can't say I really cared for this and again, I'd have to blame culture clash as the dominant reason why. The film is underscored by a theme of Cuban history and Cuba's war to gain it's independence throughout the early 1900s. Therefore, it probably didn't hit me as hard as it did some. However, I didn't hate it and kudos to Solas for at least trying to make it interesting, intertwining three love stories with the Cuban history angle, to at least try to draw in some viewers who may not care as much as he did about the subject matter. Also, I would be hard pressed not to mention the three Lucia's, most notably Lucia #2 or Eslinda Nunez - what a cutie she was and a natural on the screen. I wonder if she's appeared in more stuff - I'll have to check it out for sure. As far as recommendations go, if you want to dip your toe into a bit of Cuban cinema, you could pick worse movies than this. If you're a history buff or a world cinema enthusiast then this is also probably right up your alley. However, if you're just a Joe like me, who likes a good 'ol movie, then take a pass here. This is much more than just a movie, as Solas sacrifices things like plot and character development in exchange for telling a meaningful story to him and the history of his country. Who am I to crap all over that...

RATING: 4.5/10  Just below the average marker and for nearly three hours, there are times when it does go by rather quickly, so that's another one in the plus column.


July 26, 2015  7:33pm


  1. I guess the fact that although I remember watching this, but don't really remember much about it, including what I thought about it at the time says enough... It came in a box set of Cuban fims I bought when I needed to se .. Soy Cuba and memoires of underdevelopment .. and I think there was one other.. I know I found this the least engaging .. but I probably approached the set from the other angle .. I was wanting something political.
    If you DO move on to the NYT 1000 after this one.. Here you go, you have one ready done!

    1. I have a good sized handful of films from THE BOOK that I look back on and can't remember at all. Storm Over Asia comes to mind as one of the most forgettable


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