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I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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$29.29 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Four avant-garde episodes of revolution show Batista's Havana hurtling from decadence to communism.

Review

A classic... absolutely astonishing! I AM CUBA is that rarity of rarities, a genuine hidden treasure. It puts to shame anything we're doing today. - --Martin Scorsese

One of the most deliriously beautiful films ever made. - --Manohla Dargis, L.A. Weekly

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Sergio Corrieri, Daisy Granados, Eslinda Núñez
  • Directors: Mikhail Kalatozov
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Spanish, Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: New Yorker Video/Milestone Cinematheque
  • DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UJ48Q8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,067 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: DVD
Mikhail Kalatozov's 1964 film, I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba) is probably the most divergent film I've ever watched in terms of the quality of its constituent parts. It is, as its reputation boasts, visually stunning, imaginative, innovative, and flat out great. But, in terms of its narrative, it is hackneyed, trite, and unimaginatively anti-American in its blatant agitprop, and laughably bad. And I say this fully aware of the Ugly Americanism that has wrought the communist fervor that still grips South America, as well as the Islamic Extremism, because the propagandizing in the film has a seriously negative effect on the film, to the point that its labeling as `Commie kitsch,' by many of its detractors, and even some of its champions, is dead on.

The film was a joint Soviet-Cuban production, meant as blatant propaganda for the Communist cause, but Kalatozov's film so rhapsodized Cuban sexuality and reveled so in its visuals, that even its backers as Mosfilms, the Soviet State film company, pulled it after a short distribution period. It was critically denounced both in Cuba and the Soviet Union. It was not until filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Francs Ford Coppola saw and championed it in 1995 that the film got its first taste of critical success in the West. The film was written by Enrique Pineda Barnet and Russian state poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko and the cinematography by Sergey Urusevsky, as mentioned, deserves all the plaudits it can muster. The acting is passable, at best, and wooden, stilted, and forced, most of the time. The film was shot in black and white, and used using color filters to exaggerate contrast, as well as using wide angle shots in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The film's music is diegetic and not, but the one aspect of the film that is neither good not bad, overall; although in certain scenes the singing and music are wonderfully evocative of time and place.
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