|Starring:||Oliver Stone, Juanita Vera, Fidel Castro|
|Genres:||Documentary, World Cinema|
|Run time:||1 hour 39 minutes|
|Rental release:||28 Jun 2004|
Most helpful review
Evil commie dictator etc etc...By Tyr (20 reviews) from Lisburn , 24 Apr 2006
[Highly rated reviewer]Well thats what we in the west are told to believe, but this shows Castro in a different light. It was nice to see Stone fire away the difficult and have Castro reply with out a delay. I would love to see Bush quized in a similar fashion!
Highlights include the Cuban electoral system, the history of the revolution and the fantastic health care system that puts Britian and US to shame!
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Shame about the interpreterBy distracted (3 reviews) from Belfast , 02 Aug 2012I would tend to agree with quite a few of the reviews here. The thing that lets it down for me was the distracting commentary from the interpreter, so you are listening to Stone's questions, and reading Castro's subtitled answers while the interpreter is still translating the answers, which became very offputting. However, as for the film's subject matter, it is good to see Castro in this light, answering openly, talking about his life thus far and looking comfortable in this situation. It's worth watching, for sure, Fidel is an interesting character and if you have any interest in the Americas then this is worthy of your time.
A missed opportunity?By a customer , 09 May 2012COMANDANTE
This is a strange film, a hugging, back-slapping love fest between Oliver Stone (with badly dyed hair) and Fidel Castro. Oliver Stone has gone down in my estimation, as he reveals himself to be neither a very penetrating nor a very intelligent interviewer. He only asks a couple of difficult questions in the whole film, and on these he accepts Fidel's answers without pursuing them. The most interesting things are those which are not said.
Fidel comes over as thoughtful, intelligent, and totally compos mentis; rather like the grandfather you might like to have. Not so his stolid son and grandson both called Fidel. They both have the sleek well-fed appearance which in Cuba signifies either corruption or, as in this case, membership of the privileged elite, and when ever they appear, voiceless, in the film, they have a distinctly bovine appearance. Fidel admits that he hasn't had much time for his children, and it is even possible to imagine that these two are afraid of him or at least of opening their mouths and saying something stupid and unscripted. Not such an ideal grandfather after all, then.
Stone makes several forays out into public with Fidel, where the Comandante is surrounded by adoring fans. Most of his time, he explains, is spent in his office, where he exercises by walking around. As he talks a woman who has worked with Fidel for thirty years delivers a simultaneous translation with the earnest zeal of an acolyte, as if the Comandante is incapable of expressing his views sufficiently enthusiastically.
All this inevitably leads to the question, how much does Fidel really know of what passes in his country? Are we to take his denial that the Seguridad has spies in every block at face value, given that he has probably only been surrounded by yes-men and -women for the last fifty years? Should he just get out more, and meet the very large percentage of Cubans who don't think he is god's gift? Probably. But of course they would be too scared to say so. The truly shameful thing is that Oliver Stone doesn't give voice to even one of them; only cheerleaders are allowed on screen. Balanced this film is not and is the worst for it. I know Cuba well and have very mixed views about the country: for me what is fascinating is all its huge contradictions, and without delving into them any portrayal is lacking. What a pity that Stone is such a brown-noser. His access to the great leader has obviously gone to his head, and what he ends up delivering is a portrayal of two aging men pleasuring themselves.
A bit messyBy pEst31 (30 reviews) from London , 31 Aug 2010Was expecting much better. An interesting insight into certain historic events from a rarely heard of perspective, but the camera movements and especially the continuous background sound of the translator yapping and yapping and yapping made this movie unpleasant to follow. Couldn't they have found a better way to translate that didn't cause constant interruptions and people speaking over each other all the time?
A different viewBy a customer from Bristol , 15 Jun 2010After all the American anti Castro propaganda it's good to see the other side and hear Castro in his own words.
A great watchBy Shellbell1985 (2 reviews) from Coatbridge , 13 May 2009This was really good. I have an interest in Cuban history but, even for those who don't, you'll still find this really interesting. While Stone at no point panders to him, Fidel still manages to come accross as a genuinely good guy. What's really telling is that, even though you see Fidel being told that he is free to stop the camera's at any point, he chooses never to do so. The only thing that let this down for me was that he didn't spend much time discussing Che Guevara, but I suppose that would have been a whole film on it's own.
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