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I am Cuba (Soy Cuba) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1968) [2xDVD BOXSET]

Mikhail Kalatozov    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 11.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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I am Cuba (Soy Cuba) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1968) [2xDVD BOXSET] + The Cranes Are Flying (Region 2) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Mikhail Kalatozov
  • Format: Box set, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Mr Bongo Films
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Jun 2007
  • Run Time: 257 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000SADUH2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,787 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Commissioned as propaganda, I Am Cuba's extravagant scale and imaginative vision raised the ire of its Soviet backers as well as scorn from its intended Cuban audience. This epic paean to socialism became legendary upon its re-discovery in the West. Its four episodes chronicle Cuba's ascent from colonialist degradation and totalitarian rule to a revolutionary initiative that spreads across the country's class and regional lines. Dramatically poignant in its chronicle of the underbelly of Havana's nightlife and exciting and tense in its war scenes, I Am Cuba defies all categories and genres to form a unique hybrid of newsreel and grand epic.

Mr. Bongo's two-disc edition presents I Am Cuba in its restored print along with an appraisal by Martin Scorsese. It also includes Vincente Ferraz's SIBERIAN MAMMOTH which explores the film's production, detailing the collective effort behind its notoriously elaborate camera set-ups. It also outlines the film's political context and profiles the collaboration between director Mikhail Kalatozov and cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky.

Review

A work of dazzling cinematographic invention that still has the ability to astound --Film4

Some of the most exhilarating camera movements and most luscious black-and-white cinematography you'll ever see --Chicago Reader

It is one of the most visually hypnotic films ever -- and that's not hyperbole --San Francisco Chronicle

Some of the most exhilarating camera movements and most luscious black-and-white cinematography you'll ever see --Chicago Reader

It is one of the most visually hypnotic films ever -- and that's not hyperbole --San Francisco Chronicle


Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Am Cuba/Soy Cuba 30 May 2008
if you're going to watch this film you MUST watch the 'Siberian Mammoth' documentary aswell, almost better than the actual movie in the way it explains everything about the story of how it came together and it's original failure with both Cuban and the Soviet audiences. Four seperate tails of injustice before the Cuban revolution.. Fascinating and absolutely immaculately shot, essential! Can't believe it's not rated as one of the all time classics, really should be!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic made better 6 Sep 2009
By Mutt
I'll make a film in Cuba that will be my answer and the whole of the Soviet people's to the blockade and the cruel aggression of US imperialism - Mikhail Kalatozov.

Some thirty years on Kalatozov's masterpiece of Soviet Realist agitprop has been rediscovered and restored by a new generation of filmmakers including Scorsese and Coppola who can admire the artistry and technical brilliance of the director, Urusevsky, his unconventional DOP, and the cast of unknowns who manage to rise above a clichéd and ill conceived script to create a rare piece of visual poetry.

This box set includes Ferraz's award winning documentary `I am Cuba, the Siberian Mammoth' in which the Brazilian filmmaker goes to Cuba in search of the surviving cast and crew to recreate a unique time when the revolution was fresh, the Cuban film industry was in its infancy, Che was making deals with Japanese film studios in return for sugar, and a nave group of Soviet filmmakers came to the tropical island to lend a hand.

Kalatovoz's film bombed in Cuba due to the unaddressed cultural differences that existed between the Slavic filmmakers and their Caribbean counterparts, it was largely banned in the USSR for its depiction of the heady days US corruption, and was ignored in a hostile West, and the true highlight of this collection is when Ferraz reveals the films recent rehabilitation to a genuinely shocked cast and crew.

When the film was needed, it was ignored. When it's an archaeological artefact, it's rescued.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba) is an amazing film that shows us four stories that portray life in Cuba. Before and after each story, a female narrator tells us some thoughts about Cuba and unforgettably says, "I am Cuba" with regard to the story about to be or just presented. As a country, Cuba didn't have an easy time with oppressors and poverty that shaped its people. The movie captures the spirit of Cuba and the hardships it endured.

The movie has one of the best and captivating openings I ever saw. In addition to the stories being interesting, the camera work is remarkable and contributes to the metaphor of capturing the spirit of Cuba. The camera smoothly floats without bounds like a spirit around the vibrant scene. In addition to the great opening, the cameras continue to impress and float spirit-like periodically. The movie flows with artistic beauty and places us in a trance between the sights and sounds (as the music is very much part of the culture itself).

All of the stories have an element of anti-American sentiment, which shouldn't be a surprise. Regardless of one's own view of communism the movie allows us to learn about the people and culture of Cuba. The first two stories are more about the injustices and abuses of power that come with capitalism; the last two stories are about events that shape revolutionaries and how they are trying to right the injustices. All in all, I am Cuba is captivating and is sure to please those who enjoy artistic world cinema.
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