Soy Cuba
Guy Lochhead, 05/03/12
‘I Am Cuba’. 1964 Cuban film showing the story of the Cuban Revolution in four stories from the perspective of the revolutionaries. The film had tremendous Soviet backing during production (the Cuban military landed troops and technology) but was poorly received upon release. It languished in obscurity until Martin Scorcese and Francis Ford Coppola re-discovered it via Milestone Films, bought the rights and financed a restoration. The film is now acknowledged as pretty unique for various directorial decisions – shooting on military infra-red film, using almost entirely wide-shots, huuuge tracking shots, passive actors. The political content of this film was the reason for its initial cold reception – because it didn’t bias itself far enough on either side of the conflict. This initial “fault” is pretty handy in this context. Obviously, it does come down more on the left-hand side of things, which suits me to some extent, but the main reason for its inclusion is the scale and ambition of production in trying circumstances. To highlight this, I will include the film alongside ‘Soy Cuba: O Mamute Siberiano’, a documentary showing the filmmakers’ innovations.

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