MovieChat Forums > Soy Cuba (1964) Discussion > If This is the Best Propaganda the Commi...

If This is the Best Propaganda the Commies Could Do...

It is small wonder that they lost the Cold War.

I am proud that I was a small part of winning it and I thank the creator (if there is one) that I was allowed the honor of making a contribution.

Lisa? Riefenstahl was also a great propaganda film maker. I think she was better on her own because she was an entrepreneur. She ran her own show. Soy Cuba demonstrates what happens when a product is controlled by a committee.

A film needs more than great cinematography. It must convey a story and that story must resonate with the target audience. This movie failed in both of those categories. Certainly, the Cuban people recognized it as BS and I suspect that the Russian people did likewise. The Soviet government chose to hide it from Western audiences until the Cold War was a historic reality and the Soviets had lost.

Today, there are three unrepentant, unregenerate, communist countries in the world: the People's Republic of Korea, the People's Democratic Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and Cuba. Vietnam is doing better than the other two, mostly because the country has so much economic potential it cannot help but improve. Cuba is struggling and North Korea is slowly starving to death. Vietnam could be rolling in tourist dollars if they could only rediscover capitalism. Oh, well, sometimes people learn, albeit slowly.

The best diplomat I know is a fully charged phaser bank.


What does this have to do with the Cold War? The Cold War was US vs USSR...

Cuban, Russian, Chinese, African--all different and thoroughly individual forms of communism.

This film is actually pretty spot on in it's portrayal of the way the Ultra Rich (unchecked) ravaged the island and it's poor.


Cuba, Russia, China, and Africa (there are actually a couple of dozen independent countries in Africa, some communist some socialist, and some more or less free markets) each thoroughly individual forms of communism? Hmm, Russian communism collapsed, several of the former SSR's deserted and claimed independence, and Russia is, today, a criminal oligarchy that is staggering inconsistently toward free markets. China continues to label itself a socialist state, but is attempting to develop a capitalist economy with a centralized autocratic government. They do not go together and it will not work in the long run. Cuba is still, well I am not sure what Cuba is, but it never succeeded as a Marxist state. It needed financial support from the USSR throughout its life and it has been staggering ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Being a one or two product economy, everyone in Cuba surviving off of selling sugar and tobacco, did not lead to prosperity in the mercantilist 19th century and won't work in the free market 21st century.

Crash Dummy is a good career choice for you, but it may not last long. You might want to have a plan B.

The best diplomat I know is a fully charged phaser bank.


Yes, and I suspect you can see how great capitalism is for everyone, can't you? We came a long way in order to be able to censor our own movies with political correctness and how much money we believe they can make. Thank the creator (probably there isn't one) we don't have committees any more.

Ok, sorry for the irony but I can't take seriously this kind of criticism. The movie doesn't fail in the categories you mentioned and here is why.

First of all it is telling a story. It speaks about the revolution in Cuba. In particular the state it was in under Batista and the american economic influence and how the people (the ones in the cities, students etc., and the ones in the country, the farmers) fought against that. Of course it is propaganda but in a slightly different way than the most movies labelled as socialist realism. For example you don't get the clean hero-type protagonist of those movies, but a more realistic depiction of it.

As for the second part there is a reason behind this movie was screened for only a week in Cuba and the USSR, and it is not the one you think. The movie did resonate with the people and because of that the central authority hid it. I don't think that either of these countries wanted a film out there that promoted violent uprising against injustice because it would be so easy to backfire. You see the thing I don't get about this type of criticism is that whenever it helps these governments had all the power and whenever it doesn't the people had the power. Just pick one. Or did you think that movie distributors in USSR cared about whether or not this movie sold tickets? Because you seem to believe that the people understood it was a bad movie so the theaters took it down. Yeah, sadly it didn't work that way.

I don't actually believe that you saw this movie (If you did, again I'm sorry). But the cinematography here is one for the top five of world cinema. The camera work, the photography and the related technical aspects are exceptional even with today's standards and capabilities. And yes the story has a lot of flaws, it runs too long (I recently saw the full 2 and a half hours edition, which is the actual movie Kalatozov did), and it is basically a propaganda film, no doubt there. But it is a masterpiece of cinema, it conveys a story so well and with such power and ability that it deserves its status. Even if you don't agree with the message.

I should stop here but there are two more things in your post I would like to comment about. For one it's actually Leni Riefenstahl and she was actually a friend of Hitler and her propaganda films were financed entirely by the Nazi Party. And they are also considered masterpieces and they should be. But also if you see Kalatozov's other work you can understand that he was much more than a director with a script from the committee. Two of his films before this were nominated for Palm d'Or with one taking the prize in '57. But I guess it was probably French liberal propaganda and not a real acknowledgment for his work.

And as far as the tourist dollars are concerned, well just watch the first part of this movie to know how that works. Or take a look at the happy times a lot of countries have because of the american influence. I guess money makes the world go round...


I cannot take seriously any airhead liberal who does not know the difference between democracy and capitalism. As is typical of your sort, you immediately show your total ignorance of economics and politics in one quick throw.

We note here that the USSR is gone, demonstrating how well socialism works, even when it is under control of 'enlightened' despotism.

The one thing in your post that I can agree with is that "money makes the world go round." At least I agree at the metaphysical analogy level. It's gravity that does the actual mechanics. But, how could a person that does not understand economics but demands to control everyone's economic decisions begin to understand physics.

Good luck, useful idiot, you will need it.

The best diplomat I know is a fully charged phaser bank.


Anything else? Maybe about the movie this time?

(Also I'm not a communist. I just don't believe that modern capitalism is a viable economic state. But I am also not american, so I guess the two combined do make me appear like I want to control everyone's economic decisions. On the other hand I would be satisfied if I only controlled those unregulated bankers that crashed the economy you hold in such high regard back in '08.)

I do hope that if you reply to make your post about the actual movie, even if it is on a political level, this is IMDB after all. If you want to blog about politics, there are many boards at other internet sites available where you will be free to spout your anti-communist diatribes to your heart's content.

(Remember that? It is from your review for Z, changed only enough to apply here. By the way I'm Greek and thank you very much for your help in the Civil War, it was so good.)


It is my thread, I authored the original post. It is about the movie in that it points out that the movie is socialist or communist propaganda.

Capitalism is not about the lack of regulation. It is about the necessity of banks and that banks must make a profit in order to exist. The dark ages were dark and teh middle ages lasted so long because of a scarcity of capital. There was no possibility of economic growth because no one could borrow money to buy land, seeds, oxen, plows, or even pig poop for fertilizer. There was no money to pay workers to sow the seeds or harvest the crops. Therefore, we were stuck in a non-growth society for hundreds of years.

Native Americans beat us hear by thousands of years. They established a stable (sort of, actually multiple semi-independent cultures) society that was mostly socialist. Europeans got here after a minimum of 10,000 years of technological stagnation among the Native Americans. The Europeans immediately moved in and took control because of the rapid technological development that began in the Renaissance. There is a reason that later historians named the period 'rebirth.'

My point is, well never mind. You won't get it. You do not understand capitalism, or even what capital is and how economies work if you claim that it is not viable.

The difference between socialism and free market economies is not that socialism replaces capitalism. It is that a central authority attempts to predict what the economy will do for varying periods of time and then to direct production to meet those expectations. It never works. Those countries that people claim are successful socialist states are in reality mixed economies, even as the United States is drifting increasingly into a mixed economy.

It is impossible to have economic growth, period, at all without capital.

Stick to watching movies and critiquing them. You are better suited to the arts than to the sciences, including the dismal one.

The best diplomat I know is a fully charged phaser bank.


Your original post was a criticism for the movie (amongst other things) and why you don't understand it is great. I just pointed out why it is based on counterpoints from your post, even the title is wrong because this is actually a great piece of cinema and if this was what the communists could do they shouldn't have lost. But of course it doesn't work that way. Making great art doesn't result in lasting economic or social structures.

Anyway the conversation starting now is a very different one than that I had in mind and again this is IMDB so if you wish to continue this you can send me a private message to do it somewhere else. It is your thread of course but I really don't see the point of discussing the economy of the middle ages in a thread about Soy Cuba. After all the movie is only speaking about the uprising and not what would come later and that is why the Party buried it (Ok, because I still don't believe you actually saw it there is a brief moment that Lenin is mentioned through one of his books in the students apartment but this is actually the only direct reference to communism).

And just a quick actual answer about capitalism. The thing is that because of it's reliance to profit by any means necessary, capitalism drive people to extreme (unethical) decisions in order to maximize profit. Mind you that I am not criticising the actual economic philosophy of Adam Smith some much, rather than the way modern capitalism plays out. On the other hand I disagree with communism but for political reasons, the most important being freedom of speech and actions.


Just because you think it is a great piece of cinema, that does not make it so. I do not share your opinion. We do not need to agree on its quality and our difference does not make one of us morally superior to the other.

The background of the movie makes it blatantly obvious that it was communist propaganda orchestrated by the now deceased Soviet Union through the Comintern and abetted by the Socialist Cuban Dictatorship that passes for a government in that country.

You brought up capitalism. I attempted to educate you. However, you are obdurate and refuse to accept education. Profit is the motivator, what people do with that involves self-control, sometimes it is called discipline. I am a big believer that discipline and self-control are the same thing, whether that discipline comes from religion, other philosophical moral beliefs, or fear of retribution.

Socialism almost always decays into communism. If you read Lenin, Marx, Engels, or Mao, they claim that communism is socialism and they admit that communism must descend into despotism until they achieve forced imposition of communism over the entire world and then the new millenium arrives. Only then can the global socialist state evolve to its true self. I have an answer for that, they're bugs, kill 'em all.

There is no real difference between communism and nazism, fascism, or any other military based totalitarian form of government. It is all about naked power.

If you live in the United States or another western country and even many in the east, you live in a democratic country. It belongs to us, collectively. The majority likes the free market system that you like to dismissively lump under the term 'Capitalism' without understanding what it is. So, okay, go march with the crowd that wants to burn down Wall Street (I forget what they call themselves) and see what it gets you.

The best diplomat I know is a fully charged phaser bank.


The irony of posting propaganda about this film being propaganda.


I think you need to consult your dictionary, marlarkey.

The best diplomat I know is a fully charged phaser bank.


Pretty funny stuff....