The triumph of the Socialist Revolution in 1959 granted Cuban women the autonomy over their personal, reproductive and work life. It gave them full access to work opportunities, education and social services, along with abolishing the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children and liberalizing the divorce laws. However, the traditional conception of Cuba as a nation built by a brotherhood of men where women were imaged as the spiritual revolutionary “mothers” continued to undermine the Cuban national spaces. While one cannot deny the fact that the literacy and health campaigns of the 1960s brought about significant changes in the lives of Cuban women, one cannot ignore the fact that residual sexist undercurrents continued to affect the substratum of Cuban society which, in turn, continued to turn women into the subalterns of the State due to the failure of the State in engaging the people in a dialogue over machismo as a mechanism of creating gender-based social hierarchy. This article shows how the revolutionary filmmaker Tomas Gutierrez Alea, through his film Up to a Certain Point (1983), attempts to take the first step towards generating an acceptance for the belief that the alternative to machismo is not only perfectly legitimate, but also an imperative for a socialist state. In his characteristic dialectical manner, Alea highlights this issue and, in this article, I examine the problem that the film deals with and the manner in which it does so.

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