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Fidel Castro rises to power in Cuba.


David Attwood


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




Cast overview, first billed only:
Víctor Huggo Martin Víctor Huggo Martin ... Fidel Castro
Gael García Bernal ... Che Guevara
Patricia Velasquez ... Mirta
Cecilia Suárez ... Celia Sanchez
Maurice Compte ... Raul Castro
Margarita Rosa de Francisco ... Naty Revuelta (as Margarita d'Francisco)
Enrique Arce ... Rafael
José María Yazpik ... Camilo Cienfuegos
Manuel Sevilla Manuel Sevilla ... Abel Santamaria
Alejandra Gollas ... Haydeé Santamaría (as Alejandra Gollás)
Ernesto Godoy Ernesto Godoy ... Huber Matos
Guillermo Díaz ... Universo Sanchez
Tony Plana ... Gen. Fulgencio Battista
Mel Rodriguez ... Calixto Morales
Bobby Plasencia Bobby Plasencia ... Faustino Perez


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


He fought for freedom. He settled for power.


Biography | Drama


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Did You Know?


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 »

User Reviews

Historically quite accurate; a rarity in movies.
9 June 2002 | by GringotecSee all my reviews

As Hemingway wrote, "A murderous tyranny pervades every village in the island". For the fool who wrote that Castro robbed Cuba of its true freedom, this was written before the popular revolution from within, not imposed from outside, which overthrew a regime so corrupt even the Mafia didn't have to break the law. Some Mafia moved to Miami, none of whom were African or mulatto. As portrayed, Batista's troops were fairly treated, as soldiers who joined because no other work was available and under corrupt officers who would rather be in the cities collecting their kickbacks. No wonder so many troops went over to the rebels! Too bad it lacked the antecedent showing Castro as the most popular politician in Cuba before the revolution -running for their Congress and hailed as a future President. Batista's 1952 coup wherein he seized power, dissolved Congress, and canceled elections rated less than a minute. Castro sued Batista for Illegal Succession! Flee Cuba? Much greater numbers flee Latin America, Mexico, Guatemala (where they have death squads) and even our Most Favored Trade partner China. They do it for economic opportunity. ONLY Cubans are allowed to remain if they make it ashore; sometimes employing people smugglers with no regard for life. U.S. Immigration grants a few hundred visas to Cubans annually, not the 20,000 and more we agreed to; Nonetheless arriving here illegally is OK. Anyone who has flown to Cuba has met Cubans aboard returning home, then seen no military presence there, and maybe noted that some Cuban cops don't even carry guns. Yes, I've been there a number of times. Don't like that? Stuff it, fool! What are fools and liars like Enrique afraid we'll see down there? Hmmm, maybe one is that they have multiple candidates for each office, need not be party members or millionaires to win, that 1/3 of the National Assembly are not party members. Ride in a cab in Cuba; you may well hear a Florida station selected on its radio. Bring T-shirts bearing logos of U.S. products, teams, and stars & stripes, even "U S Army". They make great gifts, are commonly worn, and no, fool, they don't disappear from the streets as they did in Chile.

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Release Date:

27 January 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fidel & Che See more »

Filming Locations:

Dominican Republic See more »

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Showtime Networks See more »
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