Cinema and the Sandinistas
Filmmaking in Revolutionary Nicaragua
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: University of Texas Press
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List of Acronyms
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In a project on such recent history, I benefited enormously from the information and memories shared with me by many of the people who worked at INCINE. I would like to thank all those who generously granted interviews; they are listed at the end of the book. ...
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While working on an earlier book about progressive filmmaking in France during the 1930s, I interviewed as many survivors of that period as I could locate. They recalled those days as the most exciting ones of their careers, and I could sense that enthusiasm in the films, so often filled with the images and sounds of workers, artists, and intellectuals ...
One : The Creation of Incine
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In 1979 the people of Nicaragua, led by the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN), overthrew Anastasio Somoza, the last ruler in a dynasty that had controlled Nicaragua since 1936. In April of that year, as the struggle against Somoza was nearing victory, the FSLN, seeing the need for international publicity, ...
Two: The First Noticieros
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The war against Somoza devastated the country. Out of three million Nicaraguans, some 50,000 died. Agricultural production had been seriously affected in a country dependent on export crops for hard currency. Through almost five decades of rule, the Somoza family had extended its power throughout state and private institutions, ...
Three: The Second Year
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Ronald Reagan’s election as president of the United States had grave consequences for the new Nicaraguan government. The Reagan administration mounted a vicious propaganda campaign against the Sandinistas, approved financial support to encourage the opposition to break ranks with the government, ...
Four: The New Generation
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The breakthrough to documentaries opened space for new directors. Lacayo and Alvarez had worked at INCINE from the beginning, directing most of the first year’s noticieros, and their documentary work left a directorial void in noticiero production. Like their predecessors, the new aspirants used the noticieros for their apprenticeship ...
Five: In Search of Policy
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INCINE’s film production accounted for one—seminal—aspect of INCINE’s activities. Though coming under the umbrella of INCINE, distribution and exhibition had their own bureaucratic structure with little interaction with the filmmakers. INCINE could not control exhibition and distribution as it could production ...
Six: Breaking the Mold: New Noticieros
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In 1982 film production at INCINE reached a new phase. Institutional organization did not change, and the production schedule still adhered to the early agreements with ICAIC (35-mm black-and-white noticieros and 16-mm color documentaries). But the boundary between categories was crumbling ...
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As the noticieros changed—in shape, length, ambition, and sponsorship—bending their initial restrictions, the ‘‘veteran’’ filmmakers, those with two years’ experience, were starting documentaries. While the noticiero cycle unfolded under the tutelage of Cuban advisers and followed the model of the Cuban newsreels, ...
Eight: The Reality of Fiction
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By 1984 INCINE’s filmmaking had reached a turning point. As the state devoted more resources to the war, support for cultural production shriveled. Most INCINE filmmakers had already made noticieros and the most experienced began experimenting with fiction. ...
Nine: Dashed Ambitions: The Reach for Features
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After completing the first fiction films in early 1985, INCINE ended noticiero production. Instead of continuing to produce both noticieros and short fiction, INCINE proceeded into the uncharted realm of feature films. There is no doubt that various foreign filmmakers’ feature productions in Nicaragua fanned the ambitions of INCINE’s filmmakers. ...
Ten: Toward the End of Third Cinema
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Ever since the ‘‘heroic’’ decade of the 1920s in the Soviet Union, countriesundergoing rapid, usually Marxist or socialist revolutionary social change have made a national cinema project a high priority in establishing a newsocial order, often citing Lenin’s remark that ‘‘for us, cinema is the most important of the arts.’’...
Appendix: Diagrams, Plans, Charts, and Documents
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The geopolitical significance of the Sandinista revolution as a Marxist-inspired national liberation movement supported by Cuba and the Soviet Union led to an explosion of writing about Nicaragua in the 1980s, which then tapered off after the election loss of the Sandinistas in 1990. ...
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Page Count: 343
Illustrations: 50 b&w illus., 8 figures
Publication Year: 2003
Series Title: Texas Film and Media Studies Series