I am Cuba (ultimate edition)

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Country: Soviet Union
Year: 1964
Running Time: 141 min.
Language: Spanish and Russian with English Subtitles

Started only a week after the Cuban missile crisis and designed to be Cuba’s answer to both Sergei Eisenstein’s propaganda masterpiece, Potemkin, and Jean-Luc Godard’s freewheeling romance, Breathless, I Am Cuba turned out to be something quite unique. The plot, or rather plots, expansively explores the seductive, decadent (and marvelously photogenic) world of Batista’s Cuba – juxtaposing images of extremes with seamless beauty. I Am Cuba has recently been rectified by Hollywood’s great directors, many years after it languished in obscurity, following its initial popularity and acclaim post-release.

About the Director

Mikhail Kalatozov

mkalatozovBiography: Mikhail Konstantinovich Kalatozov, born Mikheil Kalatozishvili, was a Georgian/Russian film director. Born in Tiflis (now Tbilisi), he studied economics before starting his film career as an actor and later cinematographer and filmmaker. He directed several documentary films, but was forced to withdraw from his profession after his film Lursmani cheqmashi (Nail in the Boot – 1931) was banned by Stalinist censors. During World War II he directed several propaganda films and worked as a cultural attaché at the Soviet embassy in the United States. During the 1950s he directed several other films. His four final features, Letyat zhuravli (The Cranes Are Flying -1957), Neotpravlennoye pismo (Letter Never Sent – 1960), Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba – 1964), and Krasnaya palatka (The Red Tent – 1969) are among his most famous works. Kalatozov died in Moscow in 1973.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Kalatozov)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Soy Cuba [I Am Cuba] (2011).

Zahesis I turbinis gakhsna (1927);
Tskhenebis pabrika [Stud Farm] (1927);
Mati samepo [Their Empire] (1928 – Nutsa Gogoberidze, Mikhail Kalatozov);
Avganeli khanis chamosvla Tbilisshi [Afghan Khan in Tbilisi] (1928);
Mkhatis teatris gastrolebi [Moscow MXAT Theatre in Tbilisi] (1929);
Usinatlo [Little Blind Girl] (1930);
Jim Shvante (Marili Svanets) [Jim Shvante (Salt for Svaneti)] (1930);
Lursmani cheqmashi [Nail in the Boot] (1931);
Muzhestvo [Courage] (1939);
Valeriy Chkalov [Wings of Victory] (1941);
Nepobedimye [Invincible] (1943);
Kinokontsert k 25-letiyu Krasnoy Armii [Moscow Music Hall] (1946 – Efim Dzigan, Sergei Gerasimov, Mikhail Kalatozov);
Zagovor obrechyonnykh [Conspiracy of the Doomed] (1950);
Vikhri vrazhdebnye [Hostile Whirlwinds] (1953);
Vernye druz’ya [True Friends] (1954);
Pervyy eshelon [The First Echelon] (1957);
Letyat zhuravli [The Cranes Are Flying] (1957);
Neotpravlennoye pismo [Letter Never Sent] (1960);
Soy Cuba [I Am Cuba] (1964);
Krasnaya palatka [The Red Tent] (1969).

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