638 Ways to Kill Castro
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Top Customer Reviews
It does provide a fascinating glimpse into the presidents of the US. In a short segment it breaks down the plans or assassination by president. It's kind of a shorthand for the politicians attitudes towards Cuba.
Unfortunately the one thing this movie really lacks is running time. For a movie that about 638 ways to kill Castro it barely covers a dozen.
This film has a series of interviews with government officials and would-be assassins as they explain the reasoning and methods behind their actions. Some of the attempts were truly ludicrous and make for humorous viewing and yet others were so chilling it makes you wonder what would have happened if they had succeeded.
The documentary itself is a little dry in places, but is interesting enough to keep your attention until the end. There also some extras which include interviews with the director and Jimmy Carter and more besides, which add another fascinating insight to the film and history of Cuba and Castro.
If you are interested in Cuban history or Castro then this is well worth checking out, but if you only have a passing interest I would suggest you give this a miss and try `Comandante' by Oliver Stone instead, which is a more up-to-date interview with Castro himself and touches upon some of the themes discussed here.
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Not included in the film: A sad part of our history which has been hidden from the public is that recently evaluated evidence demonstrates that Castro succeeded in killing John F. Kennedy. Unlike the bumbling U.S. operatives, however, Castro's operatives were better able to plan, execute and conceal their operation. This skill, combined with a U.S. media willing to protect Castro and his regime, has left the Kennedy assassination practically "unsolved." Of course, had the U.S. ever admitted Castro killed Kennedy, a U.S. response would have been necessary. Thus, to avoid escalating the Cold War and risking war with the Soviet Union, the matter was obfuscated and dropped by the U.S. Bottom line: Kennedy is dead, and his killer, Castro, is an old man. Amazing!
Mixing archival footage with some knowledgeable talking heads (including a surprising number of would-be assassins-it's hard to believe this many lived to tell their tale!), Cannell traces the evolution of Cuban politics via a recap of literally hundreds of attempts by the U.S. government to knock off Fidel over the years.
The number in the title (638) is derived from a list compiled by a couple of former members of Castro's security team (they are among the interviewees). They even go so far as to crunch the numbers by U.S. presidential administration (thier resulting breakdown may surprise you.)
The film begins its timeline in 1959, the year that the CIA received the first official go-ahead to take Castro out. The initial schemes sound like they were hatched by Wile E. Coyote and his Acme Intelligence Agency. The plans ranged from relatively benign subversion (making his beard fall out, spraying a TV station with LSD while Castro was on air,a contingency to accuse Cuba of zapping John Glenn's space capsule with "magnetic rays," had Glenn not made it back to Earth) to more ominous (a poisoned diving suit, booby trapping shellfish in Castro's favorite scuba diving spot with dynamite, and most famously, planting poisoned and/or exploding cigars into his humidor).
Although Cannell initially appears to be playing for yucks (especially with the exploding cigar type shtick) the underlying theme of the documentary soon becomes much more sobering. The most chilling revelation arises from an examination of the possible machinations behind the downing of a commercial Cuban airliner off of Barbados in 1976.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got this first from the Library and checked it out saw the whole thing and the Special Features(Alarcon one of Castro's Stoolies and One-Term Carter.). Read morePublished on May 18, 2012 by Jose Lopez
This is just another one of a series of video documentaries and books that builds up the propaganda myth surrounding the persona of Fidel Castro. Read morePublished on June 24, 2010 by Gus Venegas