I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba) (1995)

I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Movie Info

Hidden away in the Soviet archives for three decades, "I Am Cuba" is a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist kitsch, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality -- a whirling, feverish dance through both the sensuous decadence of Batista's Havana and the grinding poverty and oppression of the Cuban people. In four stories of the revolution, Mikhail Kalatov's astonishingly acrobatic camera takes the viewer on a rapturous roller-coaster ride of bathing beauties, landless peasants, … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Enrique Pineda Barnet
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 18, 2000
Runtime:

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Cast


as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba)

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (8)

Some of the most exhilarating camera movements and most luscious black-and-white cinematography you'll ever see inhabit this singular, delirious 141-minute communist propaganda epic.

Full Review… | September 17, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Cinema's singular dream, so often betrayed elsewhere, is to deliver such visions as this.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It is one of the most visually hypnotic films ever -- and that's not hyperbole.

Full Review… | September 30, 2005
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The resulting assault is so epicly impassioned it's less about Cuba per se than the fusillade of movement, shadow, light, vertigo, and landscape on the viewer's tender optic nerves.

Full Review… | September 13, 2005
Village Voice
Top Critic

It is a dream of life in which everything is reduced to black and white. Or as the rhetoric used to go, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Nothing was ever quite that simple.

Full Review… | January 15, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

One of the most technically impressive films of its time, and one of the most politically naive.

Full Review… | March 2, 2011
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba)

A revolutionary cinematographic! Astounding film! Beautiful black and white photography, Kalatozov use a magnificently camera movements plan sequence. Visually hypnotic, great storys with politic and poetry, the fight for a revolution and free oneself of a dictatorial goverment.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Manipulative? Yes
Propaganda? Yes
Breathtaking? Absolutely.

An absolute must see for fans of cinematography. Most of the film is composed of full mag single takes. It's like Children of Men on on meth.

This film inspired PT Anderson's long steadi-cam shot that goes into the pool in Boogie Nights.

kenstachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

½

Whatever this Soviet-Cuban co-production's failings as a piece of propaganda, as an exercise in bravura camerawork it is simply astonishing. The film was badly received in both the U.S.S.R. and in Cuba, where it was accused of being too soft on capitalism and even of having a counter-revolutionary agenda! It's not difficult to see why, particularly in the first episode - in which three slimy U.S. businessmen draw lots for a reluctant prostitute - which fairly revels in the very 'decadence' it is supposed to be condemning.

The second story also concerns the perceived exploitation of Cuba by the United States, as a sugar farmer's land is sold out from under him to an American fruit importer. Once again, an intended dig at the capitalists next door is nullified by what I consider to be the most joyous scene in the whole picture: relaxing after a hard day's work in the sugar field, a brother and sister drink bottles of Coke and dance to jukebox music.

If the film's attitude toward the U.S. is surprisingly ambivalent, it's genuine fury is reserved for the regime of the overthrown General Batista, in episodes three and four, as the revolution gathers momentum. Despite the fact that third story climaxes with perhaps the most stunning individual shot in the entire movie, I generally found the second half of I Am Cuba less visually arresting than the first; I guess decadence must be more cinematic than ideological browbeating. I enjoyed the soundtrack a lot!

harrycaul
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

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