Fidel (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fidel (2002)

Fidel (2002)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Filmed in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, this massive biography of Cuban leader Fidel Castro begins in the 1950s, when the title character, then a young and hungry lawyer, bristles at the iniquities and corruption of the Batista political regime. Inspired by the words by left-wing radio commentor Eddie Chibas (Hector Elizondo), Fidel becomes active in a revolutionary movement aimed at toppling Fulgencio Batista (Tony Plana). In 1959, Castro and his followers stage a spectacularly successful coup, one that is staunchly supported by thousands of idealists and Cuban expatriates in the United States. Unfortunately, to paraphrase cartoonist Bill Mauldin, no sooner has Fidel come down from the hills like Robin Hood than he begins behaving like the Sheriff of Nottingham, killing scores of his political enemies in round-the-clock executions, routinely snatching away the basic human rights that he had promised his followers, and embracing Communism with a fervent passion. Although the film does not shy away from showing the darker side of Castro, it is essentially sympathetic to its subject, balancing the Cuban dictator's political outrages with his many acts of benevolence, and attempting to provide "motivation" for what seem to be appalling contradictions. Victor Huggo Martin and Honorato Magaloni are cast respectively as the younger and older Castro, with Maurice Compte as his brother Raul and Gael Garcia Bernal as the ill-fated Che Guevara.Fidel was originally telecast in two parts over the Showtime cable network on January 27 and 28, 2002.
Documentary , Drama , Television
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
First Run Features

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Victor Huggo Martin
as Fidel Castro
Patricia Velasquez
as Mirta Castro
Ismael 'East' Carlo
as Eddie Chibas
Gael García Bernal
as Che Guevara
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
Samantha Smith
as Reporter
Margarita d'Francisco
as Naty Revuelta
Hector Elizondo
as Dr. Eduardo Chibas
Enrique Arce
as Rafael
Jose María Yazpik
as Camilo Cienfuegos
Manuel Sevilla
as Abel Santamaria
Melvin Rodriguez
as Calixto Morales
Alejandra Gollas
as Haydee Santamaria
Reynaldo Christian
as Guillermo Garcia
Guillermo Díaz
as Universo Sanchez
Ken Jenkins
as Herbert Matthews
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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.
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.

Bruno Lot
Bruno Lot

Fantastic film about the life of Fidel Castro. Very informative and accurate. The casting of the film was well done, but the editing was sometimes strange and of lower quality. The choice of language seemed arbitrary at times. The focus was on the first part of Fidel's revolution and glossed over more recent events such as the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the essence of those events still came across.

Natalie Metzger
Natalie Metzger

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