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Sunday, June 19, 2011

El Tigre Saltó y Mató, Pero Morirá…Morirá…. (1973) by Santiago Álvarez Román with music by Víctor Jara y Violeta Parra

Santiago Álvarez Román (March 18, 1919– May 20, 1998) was a Cuban filmmaker. He wrote and directed many documentaries about Cuban and American culture. His "nervous montage" technique of using "found materials," such as Hollywood movie clips, cartoons, and photographs, is considered a precursor to the modern video clip.
El Tigre Saltó y Mató, Pero Morirá…Morirá…(The Tiger Jumped and Killed but It Will Die, It Will Die...) is a documentary film directed by Santiago Alvarez Roman depicting the injustices committed in Chile during the 1970's under the fascist dictatorsip of General Augusto Pinochet. It features music by Chilean folk singers, Violeta Parra and Victor Jara. Shortly after the Chilean coup of 11 September 1973, Jara was arrested, tortured and ultimately shot to death with 44 bullet shots by machine gun fire. His body was later thrown out into the street of a shanty town in Santiago. The contrast between the themes of his songs, on lovepeace and social justice and the brutal way in which he was murdered transformed Jara into a symbol of struggle for human rights and justice across Latin America.
Alvarez studied in the United States but in the mid-1940s returned to Cuba, where he worked as a music archivist in a television station and participated in Communist Party activities. After the Cuban Revolution he became a founding member of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) and directed its weekly Latin American Newsreel.
One of his most famous works, the short Now (1964) about racial discrimination in the USA, mixed news photographs and musical clips featuring singer/actress Lena Horne. Other well-known works included the anti-imprerialist satire LBJ (1968) and 79 Springs (1969), a poetic tribute to Ho Chi Minh. In 1968, he collaborated with Octavio Getino and Fernando E. Solanas (members of Grupo Cine Liberación) on the four-hour documentary Hora de los hornos, about foreign imperialism in South America. Among the other subjects he explored in his film were the musical and cultural scene in Latin America and the dictatorships which gripped the region.
He died of Parkinson's disease in Havana on May 20, 1998 and was buried there in the Colon Cemetery.
Director: Santiago Álvarez.
Producer: Sergio San Pedro.
Sound: Juan Demóstenes.
Editor: Gloria Argüelles.
Music: Víctor Jara and Violeta Parra.
Graphics: Adalberto Hernández and Santiago Peñate.
Trucas: Jorge Pucheaux and Eusebio Ortiz.
35mm. Black and White. 16 mins. 1973.

Unidentified man and Santiago Alvarez Roman
(to the left of Fidel Castro)

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