Sergio (Sergio Corrieri), through his life following the departure of his wife, parents and friends in the wake of the Bay of Pigs incident. Alone in a brave new world, Sergio observes the ... See full summary »
This study of Cuba--partially written by renowned poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko--captures the island just before it made the transition to a post-revolutionary society. Moving from city to country and back again, I AM CUBA examines the various problems caused by political oppression as well as by great discrepancies in wealth and power. Beginning in Havana in the pre-Castro era, we see how foreigners contributed to the city's prostitution and poverty; this sequence features dreamy, hallucinogenic camera work that creates a feeling of unease and dislocation. Then, in glorious images of palm tress and fertile land, the film looks at the sugar cane fields in the countryside, and the difficulties faced by peasants working the land. Finally, back in the city again, leftist students battle the police and a corrupt government--and pay a high price for their rebellion. Written by
Both the Soviets and the Cubans were disappointed in the film. In Cuba, it is referred to as "I am NOT Cuba". They never felt it was a portrait of themselves - but, rather a depiction of Cuba imposed on them by the Soviet Union. Soviet Union wanted to make a straight-forward propaganda film. They felt the director Mikhail Kalatozov made an 'art' film instead. See more »
Fidel is in the Sierra Maestra. He's gathering all honest people under the banner of the revolution.
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It goes without saying that this movie includes some of the most breathtaking camera-work ever seen. Many scenes will live long in the memory of anyone who's been fortunate enough to see it. But it seems to be downgraded in many peoples minds by the notion of it being a propaganda movie.
I think its misleading to think of the movie as being 'propaganda' any more than most mainstream movies can be seen as propaganda for a particular way of life or viewpoint. The portrayal of the American characters in I Am Cuba is in many ways more fair-minded than numerous Hollywood or British movies (in the case of James Bond) in the portrayal of Communists or any other perceived enemy. Even anti war movies such as Platoon or Saving Private Ryan frequently portray the 'enemy' as faceless figures who are killed without a thought.
I prefer to see this movie as a love letter to Cuba by some brilliant (but undoubtedly naive) Soviet film makers. The storyline is much more sophisticated and innovative than has been given credit. Many of the characters are stereotypes, but they are still sympathetic and real. The movie is by no means perfect, but to dismiss it as beautiful propaganda is i think to underestimate the skill and thoughtfulness of the team who made it. By overemphasizing the origin of the movie has I think killed the enjoyment of it for many viewers. Just go see it and enjoy the sumptuous imagery. If you want to dismiss it as propaganda, fine, but if it to be seen as propaganda, then so is most of Hollywoods output.
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