638 Ways to Kill Castro
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On the trail of Castro's would-be killers the filmmakers meet a series of extraordinary characters - 2 are also men accused of being terrorists still living free in America. Orlando Bosch accused by many of being the greatest terrorist in the hemisphere is found living peacefully in his Miami home surrounded by an adoring family. They also catch up with Antonio Veciana the Cuban American who got closest to killing Castro on 3 occasions who now runs a marine store in Miami. These men and others the film reveals were supported and funded by the United States. At one point staggeringly the CIA even sought the help of the Mafia in the hope that they would succeed.System Requirements:Running Time: 90 minsFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/MISC. UPC: 787364778492
Made for Britain's Channel 4, Dollan Cannell's dynamic documentary may be non-fiction, but it often plays like pitch-black comedy. While screen history has produced King Kong, Godzilla, and other seemingly indestructible creatures, Fidel Castro's close calls and near misses put most such fictional characters to shame. As Cannell claims, "More people have tried to murder the world's most famous Socialist than any man alive." The director examines the reasons opponents have been gunning for Cuba's president for over four decades. Diplomats, activists, secret agents, and would-be assassins provide potential answers. The consensus is that Castro turned out to be more of an oppressor than the liberator he promised to become. Cannell then looks at some of the bizarre methods employed, from poison milkshakes to exploding cigars. Stylistically, he alternates between archival footage (including clips from crime films and television shows) and contemporary interviews. He further jazzes up the proceedings with a retro thriller soundtrack. This keeps things moving along, although more concrete information, like specific dates, would've been nice. That said, Fabian Escalante's companion book, Executive Action: 634 Ways To Kill Fidel Castro, helps to fill in some of those gaps. In the end, Cannell isn't making fun of Castro--or his country--but riffing on the parallels between the leader's real-life misadventures and the cinematic kind. The phrase "stranger than fiction" predates El Presidente, but when it comes to the Beard, all bets are off. Extras include interviews with Cannell and former President Jimmy Carter. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
- Interview with director Dollan Cannell
- Ex-President Jimmy Carter interview
- Interviews with many more
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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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