I Am Cuba

I Am Cuba ★★★★

Original Title: Soy Cuba
Year of Release: 1964
Genres: Drama
Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Writers: Enrique Pineda Barnet, Evgeny Evtushenko
Main Cast: Sergio Corrieri, Luz María Collazo, José Gallardo, Jean Bouise, Raúl García, Celia Rodriguez, Luisa María Jiménez Rodríquez

Soy Cuba can be easily considered one of the better "style over substance" movies (I term I hate, but that seems fitting for this). At its core, this is very much a piece of propaganda aims at supporting Cuba, one that was criticized by the Soviets that commissioned it for being too artsy, and by the Cubans for being too stereotypical.

But the way Kalatozov frames and shoots the four stories that make up this film is a true thing of beauty, and almost entirely the only reason why you should watch this: with gorgeous long takes, heightened camera angles, and dynamic movements throughout the whole 2+ hours, this is easily one of the biggest achievements in cinematography and directing of the era. Even to this day, it still looks just as impressive as it was back in 1964.

Still, while thoroughly beautiful and vastly interesting, it ended up being more of a technical exercise for me rather than an emotionally engrossing experience, especially the final story of this. A must-watch for aspiring directors and cinematographers, but I can see its message and story not working for many today.

Story: 6.5
Directing: 10
Cinematography: 10
Acting: 9
Sound: 9
Visual Effects: 10


Violence & Gore: 6
Sex & Nudity: 3
Drugs & Profanity: 1
Intensity & Horror: 4

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