Dir: Mikhail Kalatozov|Soviet Union / Cuba|1964|141 mins
This astonishing and underrated film is blessed with some of the most extraordinary camerawork in film history. Ostensibly, this is Communist propaganda, celebrating the progress achieved by the Cuban Revolution and dramatising four examples of injustice to the common man in pre-Revolutionary Cuba. The link that holds the film together is a spoken monologue beginning each sequence with the words "Soy Cuba". It's still pushing the boundaries of pure cinema, a stirring and unforgettable experience.
"'Ten years after its belated US release, it seems as if Mikhail Kalatozov's Soy Cuba has always been with us, always staking out its tiny, idiosyncratic turf as Communist agitprop's most unrestrained diva hymn and one of the most visually titanic works in the century of movies. Famously, superhuman cinematographic stunt work and unearthly infrared-stock exposures mate with an unfettered revolutionary outrage – abstractly detailing life before and during Castro's rebel war – and the resulting assault is so epically 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." The Village Voice
"Visually staggering... A newly discovered classic!... Deliriously choreographed... Soy Cuba is one gorgeous image after another. Astounding ... Incredible!" Variety
The new print of Soy Cuba is the English-subtitled, full Spanish-language version, previously unreleased in the UK.
“Why cultural film is no longer a secret, independent cinema is thriving against the odds, says the ICO's Catharine Des Forges, and closer to home than Hollywood”
Read the full article on the Culture Professionals Blog, The Guardian
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