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After directing two documentaries on Fidel Castro in 2002 ("Comandante") and 2003 ("Looking for Fidel"), filmmaker Oliver Stone returned to interview Castro in 2009 for the first in-depth ... See full summary »
Comandante is a political documentary film by American director Oliver Stone. In the film, Stone interviews Cuban leader Fidel Castro on a diverse range of topics. Stone and his film crew visited Castro in Cuba for three days in 2002, and the film was released in 2003, having its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival early that year.
The film was partly produced by HBO and was planned for broadcast. Shortly before airtime, after Cuba executed three hijackers of a ferry to the United States and imprisoned more than 70 political dissidents, HBO pulled the program. See more »
Watching recent documentaries from writers such as Michael Moore, one may be confused to what a documentary actually is. Comandante is a perfect example of what a documentary should be like. By the end of its running, the viewer has seen a balanced account with enough information either way to give food for thought.
I came away from this asking myself - 'is Castro a truly great man?', or is he 'full of ***t'?, or on the other hand has he just not practiced what he has preached?
Moore on the other hand comes from a journalistic angle, everything so over emphasised and dramatised, as if he is almost trying to convince the viewer to agree with him. He presents information through his own paradigm of the opinion he is carrying at the time.
Comandante is a mature documentary, flawless in presentation as Stones work generally is; but the key to its quality, is that it does not give you the answer. It documents the facts.
Comandante easily achieves what it sets out to do. Some viewers may expect more given the subject, but for the purist, satisfaction guaranteed.
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