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52nd edition

La Primera Carga Al Machete

Fortnight 1969, Feature film,


Both Spanish soldiers and Cuban peasants recall the bloody attack by machete-slicing Cubans in the late 19th century. The officers discuss the attack and the implications their defeat will have as they dread the review from Madrid. Soon Cuba would break away from Spain, largely with the help of William Randolph Hearst who helped to facilitate the Spanish-American War. The film also goes over the history, use and care of the machete, which came out of the sugar cane fields to become a deadly weapon of hand-to-hand combat.


Manuel Octavio Gomez

Manuel Octavio Gomez was among the best directors in Cuba during the ’60s and ’70s. He got his start as a film critic and journalist in pre-Castro Cuba. Gomez was basically a self-taught filmmaker until 1951 when he joined the newborn Cuban Film Institute and began working as an assistant director on documentaries. Gomez also created his own documentaries and made his feature-film directorial debut in 1965 with El Encuentro: La Salacion. From then on, he became known for his innovative interpretations of traditional genres and for the politically-charged, analytical themes of his films.

Title in Original Version : La Première Charge à la machette