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Named after Fidel Castro's nickname and military rank, Comandante is a 93-minute documentary taken from the over 30 hours of interview footage between the Cuban leader and filmmaker Oliver Stone. Capturing Stone's February 2002 trip to Cuba, the film includes three days of conversation between the two men in places like the Terraza restaurant in Cohima. Discussing his youth and rise to power, Castro also talks about the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. embargo, and Cuba's place in the world.
Jan 1, 2003 Wide
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August 9, 2006:Critical Consensus: A Brave New "World," A "Step" Down, And No Screenings for "Pulse" and "Zoom"
This week at the movies, we've got Oliver Stone paying tribute to the heroes of 9/11 ("World...
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In all, we get a better sense of who this guy is, a man who has spent more time on the international stage than any world leader today.
Even when he seems less than forthright, Castro rarely fails to come across as a genial, charismatic guy. But that might just be the magic of the movies.
An opportunity frustratingly squandered, but one which still makes for fascinating viewing thanks to Castro's natural charisma. Errol Morris would have nailed it.
Fidel is up to everything Stone lobs gently at him, and even replies to the film-maker's rather crass philosophising, of which there is far too much.
Ultimately, Comandante feels like little more than a backslapping love-in.
While it's fascinating to get Castro's perspective on things like the Bay of Pigs invasion, the missile crisis, US intervention in Latin America and the Cold War, we can't help but feel that Stone is bending this documentary for his own personal interest.
As it would have probably taken another 30 hours to prise out more substantial detail from the man, you have to give Stone credit where it is due.
Stone should be justifiably proud, for he has crafted a compulsive piece of cinema.
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