Sara Gómez (November 8, 1942 – June 2, 1974) was an Afro-Cuban filmmaker. She was born into a middle-class family in Havana and she was afforded an education in literature, piano and Afro-Cuban ethnography.
She became a journalist before joining the newly-formed ICAIC in 1961, Castro a fan of film as art developed ICAIC as a new center for film in Cuba. Gòmez quickly rose in the ranks as an assistant director to Jorge Fraga and Tomas Gutierrez Alea, as well as to the visiting French director Agnes Varda.
One of only two black filmmakers at ICAIC at the time, and for several years its only woman director, Gomez made a series of documentary shorts. One of which is featured here…
“De Cierta Manera” was her last film and her first feature although Sara died after filming.
De Cierta Manera (One Way or Another) a 1974 Cuban romantic drama was directed by Sara Gómez. Considered Avant Garde; the film mixes documentary-style footage with a fictional story that looks at empoverished neighborhoods of Havana right after the Revolution of 1959.
The film illuminates the history before the Revolution and the development that occured after Castro took over in 1959 Cuba.
Its plot shows how tearing down slums and building modern settlement will not change the culture of its people.
Gómez wrapped filming with Mario Balmaseda and Yolanda Cuellar just before her death; technical work was finished by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Julio García-Espinosa y Rigoberto López before its posthumous release.
As De Cierta Manera reveals, Sara Gómez was a revolutionary filmmaker at a crossroads; the Afro-Cuban community, its cultural traditions to include the African based religions, Abakuá and Santería, women’s issues, the treatment of marginalized sectors of society, and the role of family within the context of the revolution and workers’ rights. For its time, the film was extremely radical both in form and content. Sara Gómez remains one of the most significant filmmakers from Latin America. There is an award named for Sara Gòmez in the Women in Film and Video Chapter of Cuba.
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