Easily the finest film to come out of Cuba in the '60s, Solas' powerful triptych depicts three stages in his country's - and his countrywomen's - struggle for liberation. Using a different idiom and visual style for each era (high-contrast melodrama for the 1890s, nostalgic irony for the 1930s, carnival slapstick for the 1960s), he manages, without any political simplifications, to bring the historical process palpably, and humanly, to life. The film was way ahead of its time in linking sexual and political oppression: interest stays focused on the three heroines, but part of that interest lies in the extent to which they take their political colour from the men they love. Free from dogmatic orthodoxy, the film also observes how contradictions and imperialist emotions survive even the best-programmed revolutions. In an upbeat ending, the struggle is seen to continue.