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Comandante [DVD] [2003]

Fidel Castro , Oliver Stone , Oliver Stone    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Fidel Castro, Oliver Stone, Juanita Vera
  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Writers: Oliver Stone
  • Producers: Oliver Stone, Alessandra Pasquino, Fernando Sulichin, Jaume Roures, José Ibáñez
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Jun 2004
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00022VML2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,181 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Filmmaker Oliver Stone interviewed Cuban leader Fidel Castro for over 30 hours in February 2002 to collect footage for this hour-and-a-half-long documentary, which was premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. The two men discuss topics including the US trade embargo, the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962, and Cuba's situation in the world today. Communist leader Castro, who has ruled Cuba for more than 45 years, gets the nickname 'Comandante' from his military rank.

Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars - no title - 25 Dec 2005
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Possibly one of the most subversive films of recent years, Stone's interview all but blows the US propaganda image of Castro and Cuba out of the water. Castro emerges as a thoughtful, highly intelligent leader and - in several telling sequences depicting impromptu strolls through the streets of Havana, one that is regarded with more than a little respect and affection by Cubans. An encouraging 'must see' for those who have even a modicum of doubt concerning Castro's more vociferous critics.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive 2 Jun 2005
Looking for an image of Fidel Castro beyond what the majority of the Western world are force fed? Look no further. This film portrays a genuine revolutionary, and an approachable leader. I was glued to this for the entirety, and Stone does well, despite a few cringe moments (due to sensitive allegations against cuba), to allow Castro to truly shine as a funny and emotional man. One of the few documentaries to grab the attention for the full hour and a half
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 28 April 2006
By Arheddis Varkenjaab TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Propaganda 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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, fascinating film but also flawed. 4 July 2007
An excellent, fascinating film but also flawed. Whatever you think about Fidel this film shows you how incredibly intelligent, charming and personable the man is.
The documentary is immensely interesting due its format. There is Fidel talking about everything from major world issues to viagra, there is the reaction of the people when he goes on walkabouts around Havana, there are the inter-cuts of archive film relating to the issues he is discussing and then there is great Latin American music binding it all together.
Fidel talks a lot of sense about the environment and at times the hypocrisy of the United States. However the film is a missed opportunity because Stone does not tie down Fidel as he should have done over the dictatorship which Fidel manages. Its a real pity because I think Stone could have done so and have still maintained the atmosphere which allowed Fidel to be as honest and relaxed as he was. Just when you wanted another more probing question to be asked, Stone moves onto something else. I have been to Cuba and I have met people who have said to me that there is no freedom in the country and this view was not put forward strongly enough in the film. Also I can see why many Cuban exiles would get pissed off with the overly chummy farewells at the end of the credits. However, despite these criticisms, it is still one of the best documentaries I have seen in years. Shame on America for effectively banning it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comandante 14 April 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
`Comandante' is a compelling and fascinating interview with Castro filmed in 2002. It looks at a variety of topics from the revolution, bay of pigs, Che Guevara, modern Cuba and way more besides. Castro comes across as extremely charismatic and candid and although you have to be aware of the bias in any interview of this type, this doesn't feel especially like a PR exercise or publicity stunt. Oliver Stone is a poor interviewer and his questioning could have been more concise to get a more coherent narrative from Castro and taking this into account this interview is all the more interesting. Once you get used to the subtitles and translations tripping over each other this quickly become compelling viewing and 90 minutes goes by in the blink of an eye. It is fascinating to see Castro when he meets the public, they obviously seem to adore him and you don't feel as if this is staged either. It is also great to see historical footage inter-cut with the interview and footage of modern day Havana as well. All in all, this is a intriguing, fascinating and extremely watchable interview with one of the most important world leaders from the last 50 years. Well worth a look.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all those interested in world leaders and Cuba
An Interesting insight into this much loved charismatic leader and his parties achievements . Something that everyone should consider watching.
Published 4 months ago by MarieHindmarch
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this
We recently went to Cuba and our guide showed us this DVD on the coach. It was a bit difficult to read the subtitles so we bought it when we got back. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lil
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Being more of a book fan, I read 'My Life' by Andrew Hurley and Fidel a few years back and I keep on going back to it. But this movie by Oliver Stone is a fantastic piece of work. Read more
Published 21 months ago by JustinS
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent rare insight into Fidel Castro's life
Well made and (for a good part of the time) impartial documentary on Fidel Castro and his work before he stepped down as commandante-en-jefe. Read more
Published on 13 Nov 2011 by the_scream_uk
5.0 out of 5 stars Hasta la victoria siempre
I wanted to hear directly from the horse's mouth about the revolution in Cuba. At the time of the revolutionary victory I was very much against the fascist Batista and cheered on... Read more
Published on 2 Jun 2011 by P.J. Gibbons
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must See
I purchased this after reading a few of the reviews on Amazon, which were honest and impartial, and I was not prepared to watch any documentary that was designed to be... Read more
Published on 15 May 2011 by A. Abdalnour
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
With so much propaganda (from both sides of the political spectrum) aimed at Fidel Castro, it is difficult to get a true picture of the man. Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2009 by Mr. Nc Shackley
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD purchase
Good service - arrived promptly, good price, brand new. A must see - long live Fidel and hope
Published on 28 July 2009 by J. Haskew
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalleled access to a world leader
From start to finish this is an engrossing documentary. Anybody who is interested in the topics of communism, Cuba, or just American Imperialism owes it to themselves to watch this... Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2008 by Charles H. Nolan
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