I Am Cuba

I Am Cuba ★★★★

Funded by the USSR, 'Soy Cuba' was directed by a Russian who firmly believed in art affecting political change. Mikhail Kalatsov was a great admirer of Eisenstein's silent masterpiece, 'Battle Potemkin' and its class struggle rhetoric so it's hardly surprising there is a strong feeling of communist bias as you watch this cinematic journey comprising of four vignettes unfold.
The internationally acclaimed director of 'The Cranes are Flying' draws us into a hallucinatory maelstrom of political and social ills that would fire up the Cuban revolution. His surreal interpretation, I might hasten to add. A Caribbean island portrayed as a den of inequity, rife with gambling and prostitution giving easy access to a neighbouring US to plunder its sinful decadence. The shameful treatment of peasants as they slave on land that could be taken away tomorrow by greedy landowners. Students rallying heroically to overthrow a corrupt Batista regime. Clearly this is propagandist material of Cuba's tragic history but executed like a fevered dream so you in turn are swept away by the director's passionate albeit naive ideology. The monochrome cinematography dazzles you with its blinding whites and the soaring aerial camera angles are nothing short of spectacular. 

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