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I Am Cuba


Price: $79.89 & FREE Shipping. Details
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I Am Cuba + The Cranes are Flying (The Criterion Collection) + Letter Never Sent (Criterion Collection)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sergio Corrieri, Salvador Wood, José Gallardo, Raúl García, Luz María Collazo
  • Directors: Mikhail Kalatozov
  • Writers: Enrique Pineda Barnet, Evgeniy Evtushenko
  • Format: Black & White, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Russian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2000
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003ETJT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,907 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I Am Cuba" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

A most acclaimed discovery, I Am Cuba will change your view of cinema forever! Filmed by great Russian director Mikhail Kalatozov (The Cranes Are Flying), I Am Cuba is an epic poem to Communist kitsch--a whirling, feverish dance through the sensuous decadence of Battista's Havana and the grinding poverty and oppression of the Cuban people. Presented jointly by master directors Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese, I Am Cuba has received universal acclaim and admiration from around the world as a true classic of world cinema. In Spanish and Russian with English subtitles. 140 minutes.

Customer Reviews

A unique film and film experience.
John P. Marsh
As you are watching it you feel like there is no hope, that the poor will never better themselves, but as you near the end of the movie, you know that there is hope.
sannin
The oppressors here are the United Fruit Company, the men of the US Navy, American backed industrialists and military strongmen.
David Grim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By B. Brown on February 7, 2004
Format: DVD
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 By John Ronald on 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 By Charlie G. Dodson on February 20, 2006
Format: DVD
...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 By A Customer on January 2, 1999
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 By a reviewer who was there on June 13, 2000
Format: DVD
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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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
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