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Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Left I at the Movies

Last night I had the opportunity to watch (on DVD, gotta' love that Netflix!) a documentary entitled Fidel, the Untold Story by Estela Bravo. It's really a mistitled film, because, with few exceptions, if you know some basic Cuban history and have a knowledge of recent events, there isn't much in the film that's actually "untold." Really, the film should be called Cuba 101. However, I come not to bury the film, but to praise it. Fidel is a quite worthwhile, inspiring review of the vast scope of the Cuban revolution, filled with remarkable footage.

Starting briefly with Fidel's early childhood (including an interview with one of his teachers), it moves on to the student protests in Havana, the Batista coup, the attack on the Moncada, the landing of the Granma, the proclamation of socialism in Cuba, the Bay of Pigs, and on and on, all the way through the saga of Elian Gonzalez and the visit of the Pope to Cuba (the film was made in 2001). Interspersed throughout are interviews with various people, including Alice Walker, Harry Belafonte, and Wayne Smith.

One of the most smile-inducing sections is footage showing Fidel visiting a series of countries in Latin America and Africa. Fidel is, by virtue of what he and Cuba have accomplished, admired all over the world, and the brief shots of huge, adoring crowds in country after country in close proximity to Fidel form quite a contrast with politicians from imperialist countries like George Bush who need security even to speak before hand-picked friendly crowds in their own countries.

I'll be watching it again, anytime I'm in need of a dose of inspiration. Join me (in a virtual way). It'll be well worth the 90 minutes of your time. And don't forget to watch for the dove (I'll say no more).

Update: A lengthier review of the film here for those who want to learn more.

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