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Fidel! A Film by Saul Landau (2009)

Fidel Castro , Saul Landau  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Fidel Castro
  • Directors: Saul Landau
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Microcinema
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,263 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A personal portrait of a political phenomenon and a view of the developments since the revolution a mere ten years before, Fidel! gives a rare glimpse into everyday life of the Cuban people and its leader. Whether listening to a complaints at a collective farm, playing baseball with the locals, or discussing Marxist revolution, Castro s charisma is present in every frame and, like him or not, lends understanding to why so many call him The Giant. "The great quality of this remarkable film is that it is educational in the best possible sense. It gives you a feeling for what revolution - any revolution - is actually about... I found it completely absorbing from the start to finish. A tapestry for history." - Ralph Gleason, Rolling Stone Extras Include: Director s Commentary Short Subject, Saul Landau s 1974 Fidel + Cuba Interview with Saul Landau

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined To Be Considered Heretical October 17, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD will be considered heretical by some because it dares to present the idea that not only is there a perspective behind Cuba's communist leader but there is also an individual man.
Here you will see a review of Castro's life, his rise to power, his huge significance for third world countries, his essential contribution to freedom in South Africa, his conflicts with the USA, and (another heresy) his conflicts with, and independence from, the erstwhile Soviet Union. There are more heresies as well. Viewers will be surprised to see Castro publicly admit to mistakes, awkwardly avoid questions about his romantic life because he believes that private lives are not anyone's business (a socialist thinks that--imagine!), his notorious competitive side in sports and games. The film accomplishes this through many interviews with him, old footage of Castro, and interviews with his friends and compatriots. I was most surprised about how shy Castro seemed one-on-one.
I highly recommend the film because it dares to show a picture of Castro that observers rarely get in the USA. I haven't seen a better film on Castro than this one.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fidel - Then & Now... January 8, 2009
Just saw the HBO film "Comadante"(2003), which I ordered through the Amazon UK Marketplace, by noted director Oliver Stone, and found it an excellent recent profile of the "Old Fidel" Castro. It seems like such a perfect "Bookend" to Saul Landau's excellent portrait of a "Young Fidel" Castro in his Prime, shot 36 years before, beautifully filmed in color, as he made his rounds all over Cuba and gave his "Progress Report" on Cuban Socialism, after it's first 10 years. Finally, after 30 years, it will soon be available on American Home Video, on February 24, 2009, for Americans to judge for themselves.

It has now been 50 years since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. The fact that both of these excellent films by American directors have been virtually BANNED from U.S audiences since they were made, shows that the Dark Forces of Demonization and Fear have been blocking average Americans from the opportunity to look objectively at Castro, and yes, perhaps even becoming charmed by him, as Barbara Walters was when she spent many hours of personal dialog with Fidel in preparation for her 2 Prime Time ABC interviews with the Cuban leader, spaced 25 years apart.

Fidel is the same bluntly frank, charismatic individual in 2003 as he was in 1969 in "Fidel!". His sense of humor is, as always, ready to burst forth. In the absence of these these two films, Americans have had to depend on the Miami Hate Lobby and the likes of Dick Cheney and Fox News for information about Cuba!

Fidel is a man who has a World View and a concern for Humanity and the Enviornment. He has been "Thinking Globally and acting Locally" for the past 60 years. It is his Corporate Enemies who have Poisoned the Enviornment and brought down the World's economies through their Boundless Greed! Viva Fidel!
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique perspective August 11, 2006
What is so rewarding about this traditional-style documentary is the humanization of Castro, a figure made grotesque and often demonized in the United States by a very small minority of persons. Regardless of how you perceive "socialism", this documentary shows Castro from a relatively positive profile and therefore his and Cuba's history from a unique perspective. Americans will be surprised to discover that in many parts of the globe Castro is considered a great hero, whereas here he is portrayed as equal parts monster and tyrant. No mention is made of repressive measures or political prisoners however, an interesting omission, but given the fact that almost all reports and documentaries focus exclusively on his "repression" and the fate of political prisoners, it is somewhat understandable. Even the uneducated would benefit from seeing this documentary, and would probably think of Castro in a different light.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD September 20, 2005
I've seen other DVDs that were clearly biased against Fidel and the Cuban Revolution. This one was less critical than most orthodox Marxists would be, however I still enjoyed it and recommend it to many people.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva la revolucion! October 3, 2005
By Kimmi
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film presents the rationale and strategy for the Cuban Revolution from Castro's perspective. It is an exciting story of his motivation, challenges, and tireless efforts to keep the revolution going in Cuba and other oppressed countries despite interference from the U.S. It doesn't include criticism of Castro's Cuba, but you can get that from many sources. If you want to understand why the U.S. Government is so hard on Castro, this film will show you.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fidel the other side November 21, 2004
As everyone points out this film is bias, which it is. Yet everyone points that he was a bad person, which killed many people among other things. On the other hand it is interesting to understand why so many people love him, both in Cuba and around the world.

The film does a great job of showing the other side of what we think of Castro. It is pretty even handed in that regard. Most of the negative reviews and comments come from uninformed Americans or Miami Cuban-Americans who hated Castro. Yet Castro has done a lot for Cuba and the rest of the world. The footage is great to see. It helps to reinforce the idea of what Castro has done. An example of this is showing him testing out a bed in a new resort that was being built. This is important because it helps to show that Castro was pushing to create new forms of economy.

Over all it is a good film. Again, bias, yes, but it helps to give a better-rounded idea of who Castro was.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fidel Castro: The Untold Story of Fidel Castro
Good to have very educational and informative. I enjoyed watching the story of Fidel Castro it was very interesting and a great tool to have
Published 5 months ago by Annette Brennen
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Another excellent view of Fidel's more personal views. For those that would like to know more about the Cuban leader
Published 7 months ago by Victor Hernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
a MUST SEE for all AMERICANS and anyone else who has been exposed to Washington's one-sided portrayal of this tiny island nation.... :)
Published 8 months ago by W. Holm
1.0 out of 5 stars Fidel: The Untold Unbalanced Propagandistic Story
This is the worst documentary I have seen on Fidel Castro! It is an unbalanced propagandistic story that portrays Fidel as a romantic revolutionary, when in reality he betrayed the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Gus Venegas
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss
If you have not seen Fidel: The Untold Story...rush and get it before it goes out of existence.
Even if you do not like the former Cuban President, this documentary will give... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Carolinacoz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great snapshot of late 60s Cuba
Most people in the US know absolutely nothing about Cuba. We know even less about Cuba in the 1960s. Read more
Published 18 months ago by el molestoso
5.0 out of 5 stars Fidel- The Untold Story
`Fidel: The Untold Story' is an exceptional documentary looking at the life and times of Fidel Castro. Read more
Published on January 29, 2011 by Spider Monkey
1.0 out of 5 stars An almost total whitewash
Anyone who has delved into the long series of events since the dictator Castro seized power by force knows the truth of what has happened to that once prosperous Carribbean... Read more
Published on December 11, 2010 by K. Beuchert
5.0 out of 5 stars I Was In Cuba In 1968 When Saul Landau Made First Fidel Film
Tonight marks the 42nd anniversary of my meeting Comandante Fidel Castro in Havana. A year later, now living in London, I sat with Saul and his then-wife Nina and told them about... Read more
Published on October 8, 2010 by Anna V. Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars FIDEL: The Untold Story
This is very good and quite comprehensive as a look at Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. While clearly pro-Castro, this documentary does not cross the line from objectivity to... Read more
Published on May 10, 2009 by Eric A. Barth
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