|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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When the subject of the film overwrites the filmBy a customer from England , 16 Apr 2009You should not miss this documentary, not because it's any great (flat and nothing really up to the circumstances) but because it's over an hour with one of the most amazing humans alive. His presence, his voice, his thoughts, his charm are totally irresistible. By watching this film you feel that he is not an enigma any more, and you like him even more that you've perhaps imagined. He comes across as innocent as a child, and as ingenious as a great accomplisher, fully loved by his people, who eventually have been educated and nurtured by him, a progressive dictator. No matter what Oliver Stone did or did not to direct and edit him, this is one of the unique cases when the subject overwrites the film and its craft, when representation does nothing more or less to reality. Oliver Stone's arrogant attitude to take the piss initially changes when he gradually becoming more and more seduced by this gifted man. 4 stars for a unique opportunity to spend an hour and a half with Fidel, in some unique footage that will remain a historic archive.
Good but should've been AmazingBy a customer from Edinburgh, Scotland , 17 Jan 2009From over 30 hours of interview footage it seems quite underwhelming that only a 90-odd minute documentary could be assembled.
Nitpicking aside, what there is on offer is absorbing enough. When Castro is given the spotlight he does not disappoint, proving himself to be an engaging and passionate individual who still clearly believes in his mission. He does evade difficult questions and is even humorous at times.
Oliver Stone's presence in the documentary is at times distracting, but he is an intelligent film-maker who has the grace & guts to understand that his subject is a controversial figure, thus avoiding any ass-kissing. Whilst not exactly putting him through the wringer, Stone does press him on some issues such as torture and Cuban presence in Vietnam.
So, what is there is great, but this could have done with an extra half an hour at least - and also may have benefited from a slightly more accentuated focus. But a fascinating, worthwhile film.
ComandanteBy a customer from Keswick , 05 Jan 2009This was a great film that showed you the cuban leader as never seen before. He was open to all questions and oliver stone great respect. It was interesting to see the two american students at the medical university in cuba who where studying for free!
It was also interesting to hear castro talk about the homosexual issue in cuba.
Viva FidelBy ohnonotagain (6 reviews) from Glasgow , 07 Sep 2008If you're a fan of Fidel Castro (and I am) then you will definitely enjoy this. Stone is also obviously sympathetic and I think this means that Fidel opens up to him more than he would to an ordinary journalist, although perhaps the questioning is not as forthright as some might wish. The genuine fire and desire to improve are evident as is the endurance of the Cuban people, having lived under US blockade for so long.
Despite the various hardships of the past 50 years, the Cuban revolution has endured, unlike those in more Stalinist countries. The personality and charisma of Fidel Castro is undoubtedly a major factor in this.
Customer ReviewBy a customer from UK , 23 Jun 2008Propaganda is a strange thing. If you recognise something as being propaganda, then it isn't having it's effect. Progaganda, to be effective, must be insidious. So when something is shown to you of which you have no direct experience, how do you know if it's propaganda?
I asked myself that question all through this film. Is this a piece of propaganda? I recently returned from Cuba and found the country fascinating, frustrating and full of paradox. There is poverty, but little despair. There is little to buy, but a guaranteed food ration. So I watched this film with one cynical eye, but I found little to criticise. Silly things - Castro's walkabout in Havana for example. I recognise where he went, and he appears to only walk about 50metres. Big deal. He says there are few prostitutes in Cuba..hmm, maybe we unintentionally went to the red light district but we were offered women everwhere. These are minor things. We met people who love Castro, with tatoos of Fidel and Che on their arms. We met people who simple accepted him at best, and were patirently waiting for him to die in the hope of better things. The same as any country and any country's leader.
This film is like Cuba itself, fascinating and frustrating. Stone asks some very interesting questions, but no really difficult ones. No Jeremy Paxman here, but if you listen to the alternative director's commentary (one of the few on DVD actually worth listening to) the interrogative style wasn't Stone's intention - he wants to get to the man, to talk to the human behind the icon that is Castro.
An absoleutly riveting documentary. Regardless of your politics, or what propaganda you've been conciously or unconciously exposed to, this is a great film.