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I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition (1995)

Sergio Corrieri , Daisy Granados , Mikhail Kalatozov  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sergio Corrieri, Daisy Granados, Eslinda Núñez
  • Directors: Mikhail Kalatozov
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Spanish, Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: New Yorker Video/Milestone Cinematheque
  • DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UJ48Q8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,820 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A fever dream, a plunging rollercoaster ride, a cinematographer's hallucination, a love song to the power of cinema. Welcome to I Am Cuba, the film rediscovery that has changed filmmaking forever - in a new deluxe edition! Director Mikhail Kalatozov and c


A classic... absolutely astonishing! I AM CUBA is that rarity of rarities, a genuine hidden treasure. It puts to shame anything we're doing today. - --Martin Scorsese

One of the most deliriously beautiful films ever made. - --Manohla Dargis, L.A. Weekly

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Am Cuba February 7, 2004
I don't know any filmmakers who are not stunned by this visual masterpiece. The hand held shot that traverses a hotel in decadent, pre-Castro Cuba is the stuff of legend- a long moving camera shot that floats through space as if suspended by magic. And this was before the steady-cam was invented. The opening aerials shot with infrared film alone justify this film's 5 star rating. You don't have to take the politics seriously to admire the fluid camera work and unique aural-visual style of this little seen master work.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't forget that USSR banned this film! September 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I had the pleasure to view this film on wide-screen at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts cinema venue back around 1996 or so. It was utterly breathtaking...and a special treat for me since I also speak Spanish and Russian as foreign languages (I for one, didn't mind the subtle Russian dubbing following the sentences in Spanish & English). I notice most of the reviewers comment on it's role as a "communist propoganda film". Yes, well, the film tries hard to follow the "Socialist Realist" of 'official' Soviet Art, but it (thankfully utterly) fails to do so and slides breathlessly into a "Magical Realist" mode with elements that Soviet critics would have disdained as "metaphysical". Indeed, the remarkable thing is that this film was BANNED in the USSR *and* CUBA shortly after its release. Didn't sit well with the Politburo, etc. The cinematography is wonderful. Yes, it is critical of the Norteamericanos, but the film does not demonize them. Think of the scene w/ the American sailors...I was anticipating a fight and a violent rape...but it doesn't happen. The film could have been much harsher on the US than it was. I may very well buy this film on VHS. I'm happy to see it available for rent at my local Blockbuster's.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American propaganda clearly is effective... February 20, 2006
...judging by the simple-minded dismissive tone of some of the reviewers on this page.

When you say you know nothing about Cuba's history, and then dismiss "I Am Cuba" as propaganda, you are displaying both your own ignorance and the success of the American propaganda machine in conditioning Americans to accept simplistic answers to complex questions.

"I Am Cuba" is a beautiful film, and makes no attempt to portray itself as even-handed. The assumption is that we already know what the white Cuban elite wants us to know. This is explicitly the story of those the elite would prefer to pretend do not exist.

Having lived overseas, I'm sorry to say the grotesque images of American businessmen and the arrogant debauchery of sailors on leave in a 3rd World country are depressingly accurate, especially for the time depicted. And exactly whom do we think is fueling the international child sex trade today, if not wealthy Americans "on vacation"?

Cuba and the USA have a long and tortured history. Cuba's white elite sought to atrtach Cuba to the US prior to our Civil War, so as to perpetuate slavery on their sugar plantations. That same elite allowed the US to assume control over Cuba after the Spanish-American War, when the Platt Ammendment gave the US government extraordinary control over Cuba's internal politics as well as foriegn policy. No good could come of all those "coloreds" having democracy, certainly not a few nautical miles away from our "coloreds"! Later, we changed our minds: the problem with the poor isn't that they're black, it's that they're Communist sympathizers.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most visually compelling film I have ever seen! January 2, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
A fantastic revival. This film is both a study in propaganda and a lesson in visual mastery. A Soviet view of issues confronting Cuba's people before and during the revolution. All Black and White and full of breathtaking, tense, brooding, and lyrical scenes "I Am Cuba" does suprising justice to a country that begs for color film. The opening sequence will astound you. My only regret is that the Cuban Spanish originally spoken was poorly overdubbed into Russian, which is then subtitled to English. In all a must see.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I AM NOT CUBA June 13, 2000
I was a twenty-something and living in La Habana when this film was made. It did not do good business in La Habana or anywhere else on the island because we knew it to be a lie. As a joke we referred to it as "I AM Not Cuba" (although we never dared to joke publicly). I remember it was even a source of embarassment to some of my school friends who had joined the party for advancement and worked at the Ministry of Education, assigned to promote the film.
Having said this, I want to state that the picture is certainly a marvel of cinematography and direction. It is genuinely beautiful and graceful cinema. If you do not mind that it is all one big lie, (and I suspect that most who will see it, don't mind one bit) it will be of much enjoyment. Is beauty still beautiful when at the service of evil? Apparently yes.
For those who enjoy world cinema and Soviet cinema in particular, I can also recommend SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS by the great Sergei Paradjanov. Coincidentally made around the same time, poor Paradjanov was even still more beautiful but did not lie. He was sentenced to prison and served hard labor as a consequence.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT pre-Castro glimpse of Cuba
This is a FANTASTIC movie. It features, i believe, the longest uncut scene of any movie ever made. Really shows how pre-Castro Cuba was. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Jim T.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cultural, Political and History lesson all in one gift box!!!
Besides a very satisfactory scan of the original film, "Soy Cuba", the background material contained together in the box and within "The Soviet Mammoth"- the making of "I am Cuba"... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mark Bender
2.0 out of 5 stars good from historical point, but not for students of Spanish
Had hoped to use for my students in my Spanish classes, but there is a need to explain too much of the history to explain what is going on in the films.
Published 9 months ago by AliyaD
5.0 out of 5 stars Cruel leaders are replaced only to have new leaders turn cruel
Great short stories, scenery, cinematography. Pretty cool seeing Cuba during the transition. The revolution has not benefitted the Cuban people.
Published 10 months ago by john d hatley
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome.
Everyone should see this movie. Visually stunning. Great lesson here. I loved it and one day would like to take the educational tour of Cuba.
Published 15 months ago by Somewheredownsouth
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLE BUT LOVELY BOXSET.
Published 17 months ago by HAN XIAO
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid
Mikhail Kalatozov's 1964 film, I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba) is probably the most divergent film I've ever watched in terms of the quality of its constituent parts. Read more
Published on June 7, 2012 by Cosmoetica
3.0 out of 5 stars beautiful but ultimately disappointing
The style and production of the video are beautiful and it is a classic. I was enjoying it very much until towards the end, the inevitable happened and the good hearted peasant... Read more
Published on November 9, 2010 by Dr. Steven J. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars The movie captures the spirit of Cuba and the hardships it endured
I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba) is an amazing film that shows us four stories that portray life in Cuba. Before and after each story, a female narrator tells us some thoughts about Cuba and... Read more
Published on August 1, 2009 by Richard J. Brzostek
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And the defects just keep on coming...
Is it possible to simply buy directly from Milestone?
Dec 31, 2007 by Jonathan Rimorin |  See all 7 posts
Gee, only half of our viewers care about the defects...
oh yeah, sure dude, whatever,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Jul 5, 2012 by Russell E. Scott |  See all 2 posts
I want to be sure this is the right set before I buy Be the first to reply
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