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1,860 Ratings

I Am Cuba

Soy Cuba

Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov
Cuba, Soviet Union, 1964


Four episodes chronicle Cuba’s ascent from colonialist degradation and totalitarian rule of Batista’s regime to a revolution that spreads across the country’s classes and regional lines.

Our take

Originally commissioned as propaganda, I Am Cuba angered both its Soviet backers and its Cuban audience. All but forgotten until its rediscovery 30 years later, Mikhail Kalatozov’s film is now recognized as a poignant, unclassifiable masterwork, and famed for its breathtaking tracking shots.

I Am Cuba Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov

Critics reviews

Obama is fascinated with the beauty of the island, whereas Kalatozov was fascinated with the beauty of its struggle for independence… Everyone wants a new kind of society. And they are ready to fight for this new way of life. This is what film celebrates. The beauty of this new Cuba.
June 10, 2016
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The staggering, swaggering camera choreography and unapologetic reliance on white-hot infrared film stock acknowledged, we should also consider I AM CUBA as a daffy but ultimately sincere political document.
February 08, 2013
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Undeniably monstrous and breathtakingly beautiful, ridiculous and awe inspiring, I Am Cuba confounds so many usual yardsticks of judgment that any kind of star rating becomes inadequate. A delirious, lyrical, epic piece of communist propaganda from 1964—at least three years in the making and 141 minutes long—it is simply too campy and too grotesque to qualify as a “masterpiece,” but I’d probably care less about it if it were one.
December 08, 1995
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