The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, February 15-21

nyc repertory cinema-one way or another-sara gomez

One Way or Another (1974)
Directed by Sara Gómez
The Afro-Cuban Gómez died tragically at 31 before she could see her film completed, but it’s a blessing she got it made. The movie is a brain-massaging mix of romcom, documentary and Cuban propaganda that never feels sloppy as it toggles confidently between the three. Stark title cards with text like “WITH THE TRIUMPH OF THE REVOLUTION, ALL MARGINAL SECTORS OF THE POPULATION WERE INTEGRATED INTO SOCIETY” give way to a cute flirtation between schoolteacher Yolanda and laborer Mario, whose buddies subject him to macho joshing about his friendzone status (there’s a similar dynamic in Alile Sharon Larkin’s A Different Image, also screened in BAM’s series). Gomez sneaks some healthy skepticism into this generally pro-Revolution text, taking particular aim at the male chauvinism that’s rampant in the secret Abakuá society. The thrilling genre stew recalls hybrid Cuban works like I Am Cuba and Memories of Underdevelopment, though there’s nothing so gentle and touching as Yolanda and Mario’s pillow talk in those. Justin Stewart (February 18, 4:30pm at BAM’s “One Way or Another: Black Women’s Cinema, 1970-1991”)

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