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Looking for Fidel

13 customer reviews

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(Apr 26, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Academy-Award® winning director, Oliver Stone delivers a candid, in-depth conversation with one of the most controversial world leaders of our time, Fidel Castro. Stone challenges Castro to explain actions following the execution of three political dissidents who attempted to hijack a ferry to the United States in April 2003. Castro's response and his actions were condemned worldwide, further isolating Cuba. Stone was given unprecedented access, interviewing not only Castro, but many of the prisoners, their wives, leading dissidents and human rights advocates -- all of whom express their views forcefully in the emotionally charged environment of Cuba today. Whether or not you accept Castro´s world view, Stone´s, tough but fair portrait helps to illuminate Cuba's unique and complicated place in the world. Is Castro a moral leader defending his small island against a superpower or is he an ironfisted tyrant who tolerates no criticism? Or is the truth somewhere in between?

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Fidel Castro
  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Cinema Libre
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004L51D06
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,855 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Carioca56 on September 16, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The start of this video is really boring, with Oliver Stone pressing Fidel Castro on human rights issues, and evaluating him through a wholly American perspective.

But at the end of the movie, which I guess one could call a documentary, Stone loosens up, and actually seems to realize that he is in a foreign country, even though the USA has done its utmost to deny Cubans the god-given right to autonomy.

What I learned from watching the video:

Cubans flee Cuba for Florida for strictly economic reasons.

Fidel can walk the streets of Havana (or anywhere else in Cuba) without a million body guards, bullet-proof plexi-glass, and a cordon of navy seals for protection. U.S. politicians can't.

Of course there is no freedom of speech in Cuba. If there were, the revolution would be doomed, as America is waiting for the first sign of weakness in order to pounce.

Access to health services and education in Cuba is pretty much universal. So what if the Cuban people don't have flat screen TV's, mobile phones, and Gucci handbags. You don't need those in order to survive.

Many Cubans love their leader. We just hear about the ones that don't.

Finally, of the utmost significance. Many of the Cubans interviewed in this moview were single fathers. Now, any country that encourages its people to have smaller families is alright by me.

And probably the best part of the movie is at the end, where Castro and Stone are up on a bluff, overlooking Havana harbor and smiling. Castro points and says, "That's where US warships will come in, should we ever let down our guard," or some such thing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gus Venegas on May 12, 2012
Format: DVD
The leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, was 76 years old and had been in power almost half a century when Oliver Stone sat down with him for the 2003 interview that forms the core of this documentary. Stone also talks to activists, spouses of jailed journalists and even the mother of an executed hijacker to provide this clear-eyed view of Cuba following the 2003 crackdown on dissidents. Fidel Castro speaks out on why Cuba has dealt so harshly with those it considers a threat, most of them dissidents or folks hijacking planes or boats, most of them getting 20 years to life sentences for crimes that may have gotten them no time to no more than 2-3 years in the US. "Looking for Fidel" includes provocative conversations between Stone and Castro in which the Cuban leader offers his views about the state of the world, President Bush, the war in Iraq and other major international issues. But at the end, it is obvious to the average man that Fidel is an ironfisted tyrant who can tolerate no criticism!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Chadwick on January 2, 2013
Format: DVD
I guess that I see this film a little differently than most. I was kind of aware that the US was run by militant tyrants, and did not think that Fidel was nearly as bad as we have been led to believe. One reviewer comments that the film starts off slow, but what Stone does is question Fidel from the point of view of the average American. This was not Oliver's first time with Fidel, and he knew what he was doing. It is brilliant.

I read things all of the time about the terrible Cuba, the tyrant Fidel, and of course the "you don't understand the real" Che Guevara. I have been reading and watching things on Cuba, and the rest of Latin America, and while I knew that we were bad to our neighbors to the south, I did not realize how to blame we are. Fidel is more clear headed than any leader the US has seen...maybe ever. The Founding Fathers had some real thinkers, but recently it has been a CF of ideology based around failed systems of social and political organization. We are doing our best to prove that democracy doesn't work in the US, and we have been trying to unseat Fidel, because he proves that our system is not the best.

Those who represent the people of this country have made multiple attempts on this man's life, because he isn't scared to do what is right for the people of his country. If you read about the Cuban Revolution, it is clear that Fidel and Che did the only thing that they could do to overthrow a regime, which didn't care about the people as a whole, but only a small elite...usually those who were complicit with American exploitation. Say what you will about their tactics, but they tried the election thing before Batista staged his coup. It didn't work, so they had to try another way. The strategy of Fidel and Che during the Revolution are amazing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on February 27, 2015
Format: DVD
This film while slightly dated at 12 years of age and with some of the recent changes in US Cuba relations, is still a fascinating look at Castro as an older man. Here in discussions with Oliver Stone he ruminates on the state of US and Cuban relations, speaks to dissidents and walks the streets of Havana being greeted by ordinary Cubans. Clearly he is portraying himself as a thoughtful, philosophical elder statesman although Stone drops in historical footage of the younger more robust Fidel giving speeches and leading the revolution. Is Stone the most objective interviewer - probably not, but he's not a total propagandist either and he does challenge Fidel with some provocative questions.
Admittedly dated but with the rising interest in Cuba given the recent changes in US policy, it is a film very much worth revisiting.
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