Of course I AM CUBA would come rapidly to be branded decadent formalism by the miserablist Soviet art arbiters. Socialist realism this project could have been but ultimately is decidedly not. It is a sublimely dexterous cinematographic pageant, the camera routinely doing stunning things. But it hardly exists in a vacuum. Kalatozov would appear to have studied the existing fragments of Eisenstein's ¡QUE VIVA MÉXICO!
It got a little too propagandistic for my taste near the end, but this is, without a doubt, a cinematic masterpiece, probably way ahead of its time. If it weren't for its obvious political agenda, I'm sure it would have gotten the visibility it deserves. The words uttered through the voice-off are beautifully lyrical, while the camera movement tells the story on its own.
Absolutely masterful camerawork and set pieces. I prefer to omit the propaganda angle and view it as more of a metaphorical piece about revolution from totalitarian governments. Soy Cuba is a pure jazz film all the way to the brutal finale. Powerful and epic filmmaking.
incredibly moving, beautifully shot, some stunning set pieces..The one take near the beginning from the crazy band playing along side the beauty pageant, the students coming down the steps, the nightclub with the prostitutes, the farmer and his sugar beet. the family being bombed. I sometimes felt I wasn't watching actors, it seemed so real. Wonderful.
The triumph of ideology is total. The movie is an exercise on voodoology. The labyrinthine modern architecture seen as a tool of alienation and opression. The pre-Castro regime of Batista, depicted as dystopic plutocracy, the Americans in the club, as debauchers. Only the peasant, listening to the sound of rain in the field, is pure. The mulatto, the student, the guerillero, a hora staccato trinity.
Technical, innovative, masterful, poetic. Kalatozov excels at those long shots, the epic frames, Wellesian angles, the luminosity that floods air and land and a touch a poetry marching along those ones fighting for freedom. A story of colonial debauchery and explotation of the common man. And we in the West, fairly brainwashed by tradition, see propaganda on everything that feels slightly politically revolutionary.