I AM CUBA
I Am Cuba is an amazing homage to the Castro revolution from Soviet director Kalatozov. The film takes place in the final days of the Batista regime. It consists of four poetic short stories about the suffering of the Cuban people and their reactions, varying from passive amazement in the first, to a guerrilla march in the last.
The first story shows the destitute Cuban masses contrasted with the splendor in the American-run gambling casinos and prostitution in Havana. The next story is about a farmer, Pedro, burning his sugar cane when he learns he is going to lose his land to United Fruit. The third story describes the suppression of rebellious students led by a character name Enrique at Havana University. The final part shows how Mariano, a typical farmer, ends up joining the rebels in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, ultimately leading to triumphal march into Havana to proclaim the revolution.
The film, a co-production between the USSR's Mosfilm and Cuba's national film production company, ICAIC, was embarked upon as a gesture of solidarity in the wake of the Cuban Missile crisis.
The movie was almost completely forgotten until it was re-discovered by filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola in the United States 30 years later.
1996 National Society of Film Critics Archival Award, USA
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