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I Am Cuba

4.1 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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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.

Special Features

None.

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
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2000
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003ETJT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,040 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I Am Cuba" 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 Verified Purchase
Besides a very satisfactory scan of the original film, "Soy Cuba", the background material contained together in the box and within "The Soviet Mammoth"- the making of "I am Cuba" shot by a Brazilian Documentary team, is probably the BEST purchase I have made from AMAZON all year!!!!

In fact, "I am Cuba" is a Film Student's Must See for its stunning cinematography and its impact on telling the story. There are incredible, noteworthy interviews with participants in the original production, and excellent documentation of how the film was created.

Another reveling theme further describes of what otherwise would have been a crumpling mass of celluloid. It was instead, rescued by determined American Archivists and brought to the world's attention by the likes of Coppola and Scorsese, acclaimed as an outstanding piece of cinema graphic art... This, a formerly rejected and permanently shelved FAILED SOVIET PROPAGANDA FILM.... Imagine my delight to have recently visited characters that are in the documentary during my recent visit to CUBA, which brought the whole experience to life and validated the credibility of the documentary.

If you love artful cinematography, come to life actual historical figures, and are interested in interpretations of the modern history of Cuba and its people's struggle to express themselves through the arts, you will fall in love with this collection....
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