Memories of Overdevelopment

Director: Miguel Coyula
Screenwriters: Miguel Coyula

Institute History

  • 2010 Sundance Film Festival


What happens when a socialist revolutionary intellectual asserts creative freedom? In Memories of Overdevelopment, ideological clashes and contradictions explode and fragment within a Cuban émigré while they spurt across the world stage. A kinetic, mesmerizing, subliminal collage, the film forges new cinematic dimensions with multiple planes fueling each other: a picaresque saga of desire and decomposition, a self-reflexive formal project about art reifying life and vice versa, a surreal foray into memory and the unconscious, and a searing critique of twentieth-century forces like genocide and totalitarianism.

Shot with psychedelic lucidity, the narrative evolves from our rogue’s Cuban boyhood, when the revolution and his aunt’s dying wish for a kiss become formative fodder and iconographic propaganda. He constructs and deconstructs reality—manipulating language, image, and sound with his computer, camera, recorder, and X-Acto knife—to manufacture the very art we're consuming. As he careens from youth to old age in elliptical swirls of misadventure, elusive pleasures of collectivity and individualism give way to existential truth.

based on the novel by Edmundo Desnoes

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

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