America Undercover

Looking for Fidel (14 Apr. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary
6.9
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Oliver Stone's second documentary on/interview with Fidel Castro specifically addresses his country's recent crackdown on Cuban dissidents; namely, the execution of three men who hijacked a ferry to the United States.

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Oliver Stone's second documentary on/interview with Fidel Castro specifically addresses his country's recent crackdown on Cuban dissidents; namely, the execution of three men who hijacked a ferry to the United States.

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14 April 2004 (USA)  »

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This documentary is featured on the Bonus DVD disc included in the Ultimate Oliver Stone Collection, released in 2004. See more »

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Follows Comandante (2003) See more »

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The Autumn of the Patriarch
5 April 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"Looking for Fidel", by Oliver Stone was made after his other documentary about Castro, "Comandante", showed a more favorable picture of the situation in Cuba. This 2004 film gives us an Oliver Stone asking questions he didn't ask in his previous conversations with the old dictator.

In the documentary one sees an aging figure explaining things that happened after the hijacking of a couple of Cuban aircraft to Florida. Then came the massive jailing of seventy five journalists and political dissidents and the killing of three young black men who commandeered a passenger ferry in which a couple of tourists were the unwilling victims of their attempt to leave the country.

It's ironic to watch the jailed hijackers being asked by Mr. Castro as to what they think would be a fair punishment and one responds maybe twenty years in jail. Mr. Stone offers he would have asked for only five, but the reality is most of them got life terms. Call it justice Cuban style!

Mr. Castro with his usual facility defends his actions as justified. The journalists and dissidents, he claims, are paid by the US government, which he and his regime have maintained all along, so there's nothing new in what he reveals. The confrontation with the would be air pirates show us ten men desperate to leave Cuba for a different kind of life and the myth of the American dream.

The final section of the documentary seems staged. When Mr. Castro comes to a crowd in a Havana block, his fans shout to the camera about how children are being educated, and how they now have computers. Well, knowing full well they can't use those computers to get into a free Internet clearly shows the young woman knows nothing about the subject.

The documentary, while trying to be informative, shows a man at the end of his life who sill has a great ego and doesn't want to let go of the control he has over everything in his homeland and is not willing to give up.


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