I Am Cuba
The newly restored I Am Cuba is ravishing and surreal — the improved visuals and the single-language soundtrack allow viewers to experience the film’s extraordinary cinematography, sound editing, and narrative power.
The film was started only a week after the Cuban missile crisis and turned out to be something quite unique — a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist iconography, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality.
The 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, cinematographer Sergei 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.
"One of the most deliriously beautiful films ever made."
"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."
"In a sense, it's a movie about looking past surfaces to see what's in front of you. It takes the time to look around and discovers majesty, beauty and pathos everywhere it turns."
Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov
In Spanish and English with English subtitles
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