6.5/10
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26 user 7 critic
Fidel Castro rises to power in Cuba.

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(screenplay by), (based on the book "Guerrilla Prince" written by) | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Víctor Huggo Martin ...
Fidel Castro
...
Che Guevara
...
Mirta
...
Celia Sanchez
...
Raul Castro
...
Naty Revuelta (as Margarita d'Francisco)
...
Rafael
...
Camilo Cienfuegos
Manuel Sevilla ...
Abel Santamaria
...
Haydeé Santamaría (as Alejandra Gollás)
Ernesto Godoy ...
Huber Matos
...
Universo Sanchez
...
Gen. Fulgencio Battista
...
Calixto Morales
Bobby Plasencia ...
Faustino Perez
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Storyline

Fact-based (?) drama about the rise of Fidel Castro from a respected lawyer in Cuba to rabble-rousing dissident to power-hungry ruler of his nation. One wonders about the facts in this very homogenized presentation though. The story goes something like this: Fidel meets future wife, gets married, has a child, political aspirations get in way of family, Fidel has a politically-motivated affair, gets thrown in jail, gets expelled from the country, comes back and fights out of the jungle for a few years, casts then leader Baptistsa out of power and seizes leadership. Once seizing power, he kills everyone who opposes him or disagrees with him - although once again this aspect is very watered down. The promised idea of a free election is also quickly dismissed as not in the people's best interests. Fidel's immense popularity with the people at the time of his coming into power is depicted, but the anti-Castro thought is only briefly touched upon in a discussion with a former restaurant ... Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He fought for freedom. He settled for power.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

27 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fidel & Che  »

Filming Locations:

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(video)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gael García Bernal's close friend, actor Diego Luna, has a cameo in the film. He's seen for just a few seconds in the assault on the Moncada Barracks, where he's shot. See more »

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User Reviews

not bad for a tv movie
1 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

I was pleasantly surprised at this film. Given the anti-Cuban bias of most things we see in the media, I thought this movie did a decent job of presenting Cuban history from a neutral position. It explains why the Revolution was needed, why people supported Fidel, and what some of the challenges were after the Revolution (Bay of Pigs invasion, etc.) For people who know nothing about Cuban history, it gives a good overview and makes for a dramatic story. It relies too heavily at times on melodrama, and Gael García Bernal as Che is ridiculous. The Mexican actors who play the lead roles are ok in general, but there are times when it looks more like a soap opera than a film (not a coincidence that the stars are well known soap opera stars). Still, for this kind of bio- pic, it's fine for what it is. The ending is a little over the top. I think the director is trying too hard to show that Fidel has become isolated from the people. If you follow news, you know that this isn't true. But the parts that deal with the early stages of the Revolution are especially good, and it's fun to see the costumes, old cars and settings of pre-revolutionary Cuba. I also liked the parts that deal with the Revolutionary battles. It gives a good idea of what the Cubans were fighting for, and the dramatic scenes between Fidel and Celia Sánchez are good.


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