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
Fidel Castro, Raoul Castro, and Che Guevara took the film crew up to the Sierra Maestra mountains to show them where the revolution was fought. All three served as technical advisors to the film. See more »
Pedro, your house isn't yours any more. Your house isn't yours any more. I've sold these lands to United Fruit. I've sold these lands to United Fruit. You grew your sugar cane on my land. Your house isn't yours any more...
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(Spanish-speaking adaptation of the 1958 song "Crazy Love")
Music and lyrics by Paul Anka
Performed by El Duo Los Diablos (as Los Diablos Demonicos)
Added accompaniment music recorded later at the Prado 210 studio
With Chucho Valdés (piano), Guillermo Barreto (drums) and Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez (bass). See more »
Why does everyone focus on the technicalities?!!?
Just about every comment posted here eulogises Soy Cuba's camera-work, which is certainly understandable as it is remarkably filmed, but this is done to the neglect of other extremely important aspects. Whether they are bigger fans of the camera-work or of the direction, however, all the commentators on these pages seem to share the caveat that arguably the main point of the film - its plot - amounts to nothing more than "silly propaganda" or a curiosity of totalitarian film making. Such an attitude is a terrible oversight! Soy Cuba is about people's desire for freedom and a better life, and the revolutionary potential of this desire when conditions reach a point beyond which people will no longer endure. It is about self respect, and courage, will and humanity and a human, filial patriotism; it is about the distillation of Cuba as an idea and a cause for justice and empowerment. I cannot understand how deeply postmodern and jaded, or just plain superficial, someone has to be to notice all the nuances of angle and light and completely miss the deep emotional and spiriual poetry of the content (in fact, the US government certainly paid good attention, for it banned the film until 1992)! It is like discussing Korda's portrait of Che Guevara in terms of focus and aperture alone!Did they not feel goosebumps as they watched the scene of the students on the steps, and the dead dove? I am lost for words! Indeed, if it were just a vapid propaganda piece, what explains its de facto censorship in the Soviet Union? I am quite sure that many of these commentators must have visited the Caribbean on holiday at one time or another; I know from my own experiences, and they ought to have immediately realised on seeing the film, that the portrait the it paints of Cuba remains the reality of Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Haiti today, some 65 years later. Watching this film, we should above all feel indignant, rather than heaping praise onto disembodied and decontextualised technicalities such as camera-work. To dismiss it as propaganda yet ogle at its images is akin to prostituting this beautiful, very deeply moving, and inspiring film, the same way that Cuba herself was prostituted. Shame on you.
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