The film describes life in a poor neighborhood in post-revolutionary Cuba. The values and role models of those living there haven’t changed since the construction of new housing; a new society cannot be created on-demand. Yolanda, an elementary school teacher, and Mario, who works in an omnibus factory, become a couple. While Yolanda strives for a pedagogical approach that integrates marginalized students, causing a conflict with her colleagues and the parents, Mario finds it difficult to let go of patriarchal role models. Their contrary ideals also put the relationship to the test, while at the same time critically reflecting the process of social transformation. One Way or Another was the first Cuban feature-length film by a woman director, and at the same time, it was Gómez’s last film.
The Cuban film history survives by its past, just like the country of Cuba. According to the records of the Cuban Film and Arts Industry Promotion Agency (ICAIC), one of the most legendary films in its history, One Way or Another, is the first Cuban film directed by a female director. Sara Gómez is also a pioneer in combining fiction and documentary, which will become a new genre after a long time. The film depicts the conflict inherent in Cuban society through the relationship between a teacher and a mixed-race worker at a workplace after the Cuban Revolution. It has not only cinematic but also historical value that documented the reality of the time. It pursues the value of the ideal that was lacking in the hopes and reality of those who were seeking a more just society and makes us think about the thoughts of those who doubt it. One Way or Another, which became her last film after Gómez died of asthma while filming, was completed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Julio García Espinosa. [Sung MOON]
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