Saturday Matinee: I Am Cuba

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“I Am Cuba” (1964) is a Soviet-Cuban co-production directed by Mikhail Kalatozov which ties together several stories depicting different aspects of the Cuban experience during the pre-Castro era. Upon release (and long after), the film was largely ignored, being too Communist for western audiences and not revolutionary enough for audiences in the Soviet Union. Fortunately, in the 1990s the film was re-discovered and championed by prominent directors such as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola who with Milestone Films re-released the film at New York’s Film Forum in 1995. I Am Cuba is notable for inspiring and emotionally powerful scenes as well as technical achievements such as complex tracking shots and striking cinematography utilizing wide angle lenses and infrared film stock.

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