Commissioned as propaganda, I Am Cuba’s extravagant scale and imaginative vision raised the ire of its Soviet backers as well as scorn from its intended Cuban audience. This epic paean to socialism became legendary upon its re-discovery in the West. Its four episodes chronicle Cuba’s ascent from colonialist degradation and totalitarian rule to a revolutionary initiative that spreads across the country’s class and regional lines. Dramatically poignant in its chronicle of the underbelly of Havana’s nightlife and exciting and tense in its war scenes, I Am Cuba defies all categories and genres to form a unique hybrid of newsreel and grand epic. —Mr Bongo
Mikhail Kalatozov’s film career followed a circuitous path. By dint of birth, he belonged to the zeitgeist of the 20s, the generation of Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Kozintsev and Vertov. However the long gaps in his filmography did not allow for a consistent development of cinematic style and theme. These ruptures are results of the fluctuating changes of the Soviet Union’s film policy. It’s shift from the avant-garde in the 1920s to a major cog in Stalin’s propaganda factory and finally its resurgence during the “thaw” of de-Stalinization. A Georgian by birth, Kalatozov’s early career had strong local roots. At the Tiblisi Film Studio, he apprenticed as a camera operator, writer and editor on films such Gulli and Gipsy Blood. His directorial career began with Their Empire and The Blind Woman.
His first major work was the experimental Salt for Svanetia, made in 1930. The film was an ethnographic portrait of the distinct culture of the people of Svanetia, a mountainous region in northwestern… read more
Soy Cuba s’inscrit parfaitement dans la logique de son temps, à savoir un soviétique faisant un film propagandiste. Ce qui est malheureux, c’est que l’oeuvre demeure beaucoup trop manichéenne que pour… read review
la fotografía de urusevsky es, al igual que en el vuelo de las grullas, impresionante. esta película tiene una historia trágico-cómica donde scorsese pone la más reciente nota al rescatarla y restaurarla… read review