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I Am Cuba

Friday, January 14 - Monday, January 17, 2011

Started only a week after the Cuban missile crisis and designed to be Cuba’s answer to both Sergei Eisenstein’s propaganda masterpiece, Potemkin and Jean-Luc Godard’s freewheeling romance, Breathless, I AM CUBA turned out to be something quite unique — a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist kitsch, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality. The plot, or rather plots, feverishly explore the seductive, decadent (and marvelously photogenic) world of Batista’s Cuba — deliriously juxtaposing images of rich Americans and bikini-clad beauties sipping cocktails poolside with scenes of ramshackle slums filled with hungry children and gaunt old people. Using wide-angle lenses that distort and magnify and filters that transform palm trees into giant white feathers, Urusevsky’s acrobatic camera achieves wild gravity-defying angles as it glides effortlessly through long continuous shots. But I AM CUBA is not just a catalog of bravura technique — it also succeeds in exploring the innermost feelings of the characters and their often desperate situations. Shown unsubtitled at the San Francisco International Film Festival, I AM CUBA received two standing ovations — during the screening. The first movie ever jointly presented by master filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, I AM CUBA is one of the great discoveries in cinema. It will change your view of cinema forever! – Milestone Films

  • Country USSR/Cuba
  • Rating NR
  • Year 1964
  • Running Time 141 minutes
  • Director Mikhail Kalatozov