The Last Supper

This brilliant black comedy was first presented at PFA in November 1978; at its London Film Festival premiere, Derek Malcolm of the Manchester Guardian noted:

“Tomas Alea's The Last Supper is without much doubt the most striking Cuban film since Humberto Solas' Lucia - worthy to be put beside his earlier Memories of Underdevelopment. Set in the last years of the 18th century, it tells of an inevitably abortive attempt at paternalism by the religious owner of a sugar plantation who, during Holy Week, attempts to convince himself of his spiritual purity by performing acts of munificence towards his slaves. He gathers together twelve of them, one of whom has just had his ear cut off after an escape bid, for his own version of the Last Supper, casting himself in the role of Christ-like benefactor. This long sequence alone, during which he and the slaves talk and drink themselves into stupor, is worthy of Bunuel himself not only in force of argument but in its irony and humour. Good Friday, he proclaims, will be a day of rest. But he has not informed his brutal overseer, who is then held captive by the slaves to await confirmation of their master's instructions. It is then that the system betrays its true colors, and the ensuing revolt is cruelly repressed. The film is, quite simply, a masterwork of Latin-American cinema.”

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