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Yank Tanks (2002)

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Yanks Tanks is a first look at the phenomenon of classic American cars in Cuba. Like an exotic, endangered species, these colorful cars roam around this island paradise trapped in a 1950's ... See full summary »


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Yanks Tanks is a first look at the phenomenon of classic American cars in Cuba. Like an exotic, endangered species, these colorful cars roam around this island paradise trapped in a 1950's time warp. As beacons of individuality in a sea of government conformity they represent freedom for those who own them. Owners who will do almost anything to keep them running. Seeing these old cars in recent films and photographs one wonders how they have maintained them after decades with no spare parts and an embargo by the United States. After repeated trips to Cuba, the Schendel brothers succeed in taking a close look into the underground world of Cuban cars, finding along the way a gallery of eccentric characters - the curators of the largest, living, automobile museum in the world. Written by <>

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Plot Keywords:

car | cuba | embargo | 1950s | poverty | See All (15) »


Cuba Is The Largest, Living, Automobile Museum In The World. You're About To Meet The Curators








Release Date:

2 March 2002 (USA)  »

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Written by Compay Segundo as Maximo Francisco Repilado Munoz
Performed by Orishas
Published by Autores Productores Asociados
Courtesy of BIS Music/EMI
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Charming tribute to the classic American cars of Cuba.
30 November 2004 | by (bahamas) – See all my reviews

Between the forty odd years of the U.S. embargo and Castro's iron fist, the people of Cuba have been forced to learn to adapt in order to survive. In this charming tribute to the classic American cars of the 50's that still rule the highways of Cuba one gets to meet the owners and the mechanics who make sure these beloved vehicles don't end up on the scrap heap. The sheer persistence and inventiveness of these car lovers in manufacturing replacement parts that are either no longer available or out of reach of the isolated island is impressive to say the least. With enormous charm and terrific music, director David Schendel invades the back street garages and interviews the mechanics who are determined to preserve the stylish American cars that in the U.S. would only be found in auto museums. One constantly senses the good-humored attitude of a people determined to persevere and survive under an unrelenting system. David Schendel has done a masterful job in locating so many craftsmen with such a sense of dedication. The question asked over and over "If you had to choose between your car and your wife, which would you choose?" meets with various amused answers. But the proof is in the love these mechanics pour into these sleek American beauties of a bygone era. A charming documentary that deserves to be seen by an audience in need of a reality jolt when it comes to throw-away consumerism. You don't know how lucky you are!

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