Secondary Roles (Papeles Secundarios)

Director: Orlando Rojas
Screenwriters: Carlos Felipe, Ovaldo Sanchez

Institute History

  • 1991 Sundance Film Festival


Using as a heated metaphor for contem-porary Cuba the backstage professional relationships, emotional involvements ad sexual entanglements of a proud theatrical troupe performing in central Havana, Orlando Rojas creates a drama in which passion, decay, surveillance and resilience all play major roles. In this, his second feature, Rojas displays a visual bravura that recalls the sophisticated look of some of the most popular contemporary films by "studio" directors who have graduated from the making of commercials, an industry not currently active in Cuba. Secondary Roles boasts a first-rate cast, including Luis Perez Nieto, as the politically suspect and vulnerable Mirtha, and Rosa Fomes, as the director of the theatre where, having received the Communist party's blessing, a celebrated tragedy of love is about to he set in a prerevolutionary brothel. Secondary Roles recently shared the Grand Prize at New York's Festival Latino with Colombia's Rodrigo D., which was shown at last year's Sundance Film Festival.

— Laurence Kardish

Screening Details

  • Section: Images of Mexico and Latin America
  • Film Type: Dramatic Feature
  • Country: Cuba
  • Run Time: 113 min.
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