Monday, 16 June 2008

La Primera Carga al Machete - Oliva 1969

La Primera Carga al Machete (The First Charge of the Machete) is a Cuban documentary by Manuel Octavio Gómez that tells the story of the 1868 uprising against Spanish colonials. Although the message of the film is serious it uses cinematic experimentation and playful techniques to bring contemporary film making to the 19th century battle. It also uses wild hand held camera shots and an abstract style that can be hard work to watch.

Oliva's poster steals heavily from the San Francisco scene of the late 60s. Although American poster art was not officially available in Cuba the Cuban artists got hold of various publications that were passed round and appropriated. In this case Oliva's poster may have been a little bit too American in style as another version of this Cuban poster exists to promote the film in France. This is great though and its wild style really waves two fingers at the authorities.
La Primera Carga al Machete - Oliva cuba icaic silkscreen

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