Fidel (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fidel (2002)

Fidel (2002)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The tumultuous life and times of one of the most controversial political figures of the 20th century is dramatized in this made-for-cable biopic. Fidel Castro (Victor Huggo Martin) was only 23 when he and his brother Raul (Maurice Compte) began speaking out against American political and economic control of Cuba following an altercation with U.S. Marines. In the early '50s, Fidel became active in the Ortodoxo Party, whose leader, Dr. Eduardo Chibas (Ismael Carlo), advocated an overthrow of Cuba's corrupt leadership. After Chibas commits suicide, Fidel runs for elected office under the Ortodoxo banner, but, just as it looks as if the party will win leadership of the country, General Fulgencio Batista (Tony Plana) takes control of Cuba in a military coup. Fidel and a number of other revolutionaries plan an armed assault on a Cuban military installation; the raid proves disastrous, with many rebels killed and Fidel (among others) arrested. Thanks to public outcry, Fidel and his comrades are released after serving only two years of a 15-year sentence, and Fidel flees to Mexico, where he begins training a new group of rebels alongside Che Guevara (Gael Garcia Bernal). After a feeble landing on the shores of Cuba, Fidel, Che, and their forces take to the hills, where they soon attract the attention of American journalists. International attention brings a new level to respect to the revolutionary factions, as well as the support of a wealthy benefactor, Huber Matos (Ernesto Godoy). In time, Fidel and Che win the support of the people, and the revolutionary forces topple the U.S.-backed Batista regime. However, while Fidel and his men advocated a revolution that would bring control of Cuba back to the Cuban people, in time Fidel becomes a despot who believes his word is law, even though he has become hopelessly dependant on the economic and military support of the Soviet Union. Fidel was produced for the Showtime premium cable network, where it was first broadcast (in two parts) in January of 2002.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Drama, Television
Directed By:
Written By: Estela Bravo, Stephen Tolkin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 22, 2003
First Run Features

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Victor Huggo Martin
as Fidel Castro
Patricia Velasquez
as Mirta Castro
Ismael 'East' Carlo
as Eddie Chibas
Maurice Compte
as Raul Castro
Tony Plana
as Fulgencio Batista
Cecilia Suárez
as Celia Sanchez
Ernesto Godoy
as Huber Matos
Bobby Plasencia
as Faustino Perez
Honorato Magaloni
as Aged Fidel Castro
Hector Elizondo
as Dr. Eduardo Chibas
Jose María Yazpik
as Camilo Cienfuegos
Manuel Sevilla
as Abel Santamaria
Melvin Rodriguez
as Calixto Morales
Alejandra Gollas
as Haydee Santamaria
Guillermo Díaz
as Universo Sanchez
Reynaldo Christian
as Guillermo Garcia
Ken Jenkins
as Herbert Matthews
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Fidel

Critic Reviews for Fidel

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (10)

Purely propaganda, a work of unabashed hero worship, it is nonetheless -- and likely inadvertently -- a timely and invaluable implicit reminder of the role that U.S. foreign policy has played in the rise of Castro.

Full Review… | March 6, 2003
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

It's a refreshing change from the self-interest and paranoia that shape most American representations of Castro.

Full Review… | March 6, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Makes an aborbing if arguable case for the man's greatness.

Full Review… | January 31, 2003
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Has the kitsch appeal of a farm implement on a restaurant wall, or an Andy Warhol Mao poster: Interesting, but not for its original purpose.

January 31, 2003
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Audiences will find no mention of political prisoners or persecutions that might paint the Castro regime in less than saintly tones.

January 3, 2003
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Although Estela Bravo's documentary is cloyingly hagiographic in its portrait of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, it's still a guilty pleasure to watch.

December 6, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Fidel

This film does a good job of explaining Castro both in the 1950s before, and during, the revolution. The best part is showing Castro's narcissism, and ego. Any attack on the revolution is a personal attack on him, and vice versa. This is definitely an anti-Castro film by the end. United States biased view, I am sure. Still, a very interesting, and well done effort. Any film that sparks my interests, and prompts me to research for more information, is a good deed in my book.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Great movie. It tells many facts about Castro's life including some romances, family, his time out of Cuba, and of course the revolution. Great acting by all the cast. The only thing that I didn't like was the fact that after the revolution, the American movie showed somethings of what the Americans think about him and his government there and not really true facts.

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