Santiago Alvarez is honored in the world as the pioneer of revolutionary Cuban filmmaker as well as his documentary masterpieces also contribute a remarkable achievement in Latin America films. Santiago was given birth on March 8, 1919, who is the son of an immigrant Spanish family in Cuba. He was involved in learning politics at his very early age since his father arrested as a result of anarchistic activity. Subsequently, at the age of 15, Santiago began to work as a printer’s apprentice and then he became a strike planner speedily after he participating in the workers’ union. At the end of 1930s, during the American Great Depression, Santiago travelled to United States and then found a job as coal mineworker and cleaner. Additionally, he was admitted as a student in Columbia University in New York City. After Santiago returned to Cuba, he devoted himself into a covert struggle against Batista’s dictatorship, which made him arrested for several times.
At the end of 1950s, Santiago was employed at the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos) as the director of newsreel department, in which he created a battery of masterpieces of documentary with his ‘dramatic method’ －montage. Following Sergei Eisenstein’s definition to the mechanism:” Montage is an idea that arises from the collision of independent shots－shots even opposite to one another” (Sergei, 1957), he harmonically manipulate sounds and images in most of his films, which makes Santiago was also honored as one of the most outstanding of all montagists with a series of acclaimed, short, exploratory, rhetorical documentaries in the vigorous decade of 1960 (Peter, 2007). The rough tribulation in Santiago’s early life and the misery of...
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Martin, M. 1997. New Latin American cinema. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.
Rist, P. 2007. Agit-prop Cuban Style: Master Montagist Santiago Álvarez. Offscreen, 11 (3), Available at: http://www.offscreen.com/index.php/pages/essays/agit_prop_cuban_style/ [Accessed: 2 Dec 2013].
Wilkerson, T. 2006. Cuba's Santiago Alvarez, cinematographer and revolutionary. [e-book] Available through: PSLweb.org http://www2.pslweb.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5103 [Accessed: 5 Dec 2013].
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