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Fidel: The Untold Story

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Product Details

  • Actors: Fidel Castro, Harry Belafonte, Elián González (II), Alice Walker, Angela Davis
  • Directors: Estela Bravo
  • Format: HiFi Sound, NTSC, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • 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)
  • DVD Release Date: July 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009IAYC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,793 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fidel: The Untold Story" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Whether dismissed as a relic or revered as a savior, all agree that Fidel Castro, nearing 44 years as the leader of Cuba, is one of the most influential and controversial figures of our time. Rarely are Americans given a chance to see inside the world of this socialist leader. The new documentary film FIDEL by Estela Bravo offers a unique opportunity to view the man through exclusive interviews with Castro himself, historians, public figures and close friends, with rare footage from the Cuban State archives.

Alice Walker, Harry Belafonte, and Sydney Pollack discuss Fidel as a person, while former and current US government figures including Arthur Schlesinger, Ramsey Clark, Wayne Smith, Congressman Charles Rangel and a former CIA agent offer political and historical perspectives on Castro and the long-standing US embargo against Cuba. Family members and close friends, including Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, offer a window into the rarely seen personal life of Fidel.

Bravo's camera captures Fidel Castro swimming with bodyguards, visiting his childhood home and school, joking with Nelson Mandela, Ted Turner and Muhammad Ali, meeting Elian Gonzalez, and celebrating his birthday with members of the Buena Vista Social Club. Juxtaposing the personal anecdotal with history of the Cuban revolution and the fight to survive the post-Soviet period, FIDEL tells a previously untold story and presents a new view of this compelling figure.


A sympathetic, convincing and even moving portrait of the charismatic Cuban leader, guaranteed to be highly controversial. --New York Daily News

A thorough examination of the most controversial figure in Latin American history. Estela Bravo's film opens a window allowing us a personal glimpse of Fidel Castro, the man. --El Diario

Infuriating & fascinating! Required viewing. --Miami Herald

Customer Reviews

As everyone points out this film is bias, which it is.
William Bradford
Even though Castro has his own country of Cuba to take care of, this documentary shows that he helped out Vietnam, Bolivia, Angola and others.
Gen Res
The problems in Cuba started with the Batista coup of 52- ending 50 years of a constitutional republic.
Gus Venegas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Dana Garrett on 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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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jamigo Speaks on January 8, 2009
Format: DVD
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 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brown on August 11, 2006
Format: DVD
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anna V. Carroll on October 8, 2010
Format: DVD
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 the experience. I know for a fact that Dr. Castro really liked Saul Landau and considered him a true friend. I saw his 1968 doc. at a private screening Saul gave me in London with my boss, Ronan O'Rahilly, as well as Ronan's guest, actress Charlotte Rampling. It was a truly moving experience for Ronan as he is the grandson of 'The O'Rahilly' the Irish hero and fighter. I befriended the Landau family that summer and saw how hard Saul worked to get the essence of his friend, Fidel. That was long ago and far away. I never saw Saul again after the screening in 1969. It is painful for me to watch these films on Fidel and Cuba because I was in my mid-20's at the time and could not have forseen the exciting life I would lead after I left Cuba. I owe everything I have experienced in life to that year in Havana and reading Fidel's speeches and books. As always, on the 8th of October, I always go back to that night when I spend hours with him talking about everything under the sun. My name has changed, but the memories will always remain the same. Saul Landau is the real deal.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pearse O'Sullivan on September 20, 2005
Format: DVD
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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