Soy Cuba (I AM CUBA)

An incredibly delirious cinematic adventure into the changes of a nation as it struggles to break free of dictatorship, achieved through a love affair with Cuban landscapes, townscapes, its people and with cinema itself. I Am Cuba was re-discovered and presented to the world by master filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, gaining standing ovations and critical acclaim. Released in cinemas in Ireland to sell-out performances for the first time by Stoney Road Films in 2006 and now available on DVD. It is quite literally one of the best films ever made and Mikhail Kalatozov's masterpiece.

I AM CUBA tells four interlinked tales in the period leading up to the revolution in 1959: a sugar cane farmer who loses everything when the landlord sells the land he farms to the United Food Company; a student who joins the revolutionary intelligentsia and then cannot kill the brutal police captain after seeing him with his children, and later dies at his hand; a young woman whose fiancÚ sees her in bed with a foreign business man, and realises that she is a prostitute and a peasant family man with no political leanings who sees one of his children blown up by Batista’s air bombardments and joins the rebel forces in retaliation.


"For it’s sheer dazzling technique and the glorious beauty of it’s monochrome cinematography, this Soviet-Cuban hymn from 1964 to the Castro revolution deserves impregnable classic status. Director Mikhail Kalatozov follows the progress of the revolution from the decadence of Batista’s Havana, the pauperisation of the tenant farmers through to student agitation and finally the arrival of Castro’s troops from their mountain stronghold. ‘I Am Cuba’ is a gripping, stylised historical document, combining the high minded severity of Russian Cinema with the exuberance of Vigo or Fellini, and even anticipates the conspiracy theory of Oliver Stone." The Guardian

"One of the most visually titanic works in the century of movies. Famously superhuman cinematographic stunt work and unearthly infra-red stock exposures mate with an unfettered revolutionary outrage - abstractly detailing life before and during Castro's rebel war - and the resulting assault is so epically impassioned it's less about Cuba per se than the fusillade of movement, shadow, light, vertigo and landscape on the viewer's tender optic nerves." The Village Voice

"Few new print releases are as welcome as Mikhail Kalatozov’s deliriously impressive 1964 polemical poem of a society on the cusp of transformation. The product of a distinctively Soviet take on the island’s history and aspirations, ‘I Am Cuba’ saw Kalatozov, fresh from Palme d’Or success for ‘The Cranes are Flying’, joined by that film’s cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky and poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko as co-writer. The result is a sensual four-chaptered epic of injustices exposed in Batista’s dictatorial Cuba, elevated by suitably revolutionary camerawork, its confidence a formal expression of faith in the island’s uprising. It seems reductive to call this one of cinema’s great ‘lost’ works because this is one of the great films period, taking its place in the canon with urgency since its re-emergence in the 1990s. Cinema’s singular dream, so often betrayed elsewhere, is to deliver such visions as this."Time Out

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1964. 141 minutes. B&W 35mm full academy format. Out now on DVD PAL Multiregional, Spanish with English subtitles. Also available new Special Edition pack with award winning making of documentary ‘Siberian Mammoth’ and Martin Scorsese interview.