MovieChat Forums > Soy Cuba (1964) Discussion > If you like this film, you're a commie

If you like this film, you're a commie


I'm so thankful that this film is just obscure enough to avoid the the radar of the opinionated morons that start topics (with titles like this one), that stain the discussion boards of other films of a similar subject matter with their elaborate jingoism and lack of appreciation for the context of the situation depicted.

(Beautiful cinematography by the way).

"Your mother's in here with us."

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This movie is insanely good. Everyone should see it. Its in spanish with russian dubs and english subs on the dvd, but at least you get to see it. It has insane cinematography like the opinionated moron said, but its just an all-around sweet movie. Its plot can fairly be interpreted as communist propaganda, but its also the exact opposite of a hollywood movie, and each of the stories show powerful images rarely seen in western cinema. (spoilers) For example, the kids buying Coca-Colas as the father burns his sugarcrops that just got sold to the United Fruit Company. I saw like 2 minutes of this movie in a film studies class (the scene after the police bust the newspaper) and then proceeded to order the dvd for $40. If it were not so obscure it might not have been so expensive and i could have gotten a used one from a videostore; people would also know its greatness.
Anyone who doesn't like this movie is a facist.

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I think you misunderstood, I really enjoyed this film. My subject was meant as satire - poking fun at those that would post such topics without appreciating the finer details of the film.

"Your mother's in here with us."

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I think you missed the joke.

I agree, this is a beautiful movie, both in cinematography and in context. The take from the top of the hotel was amazing, but the funeral shot is what really took my breath away.

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One may call it propaganda, and one might even be accurate in that regard. However, it's "propaganda" elevated to high cinematic art, like watching a Bergman film.

In any case, propaganda or not, it's a fairly accurate portrayal of life and the conditions in Cuba during that era. Things were absolutely terrible under Batista and his rule was untenable. The Cuban Revolution was more about getting rid of the US Puppet and corrupt, mafiosi dictator, Batista. Many brave Cubans who played a big part in the revolution were later quite shocked when it became apparent the country under Castro would go communist. Many, many heroes of the revolution were imprisoned and executed for resisting and critiquing the move towards communism. Google Huber Matos, a man who spent twenty years being tortured in brutal Cuban prisons for having the nerve to merely speak out against Castro.

I really feel bad for the Cuban people, they deserved better than Castro and his Stalinist paranoia and police state after the revolution took place. At the same time, there is no denying Castro implemented many good reforms. Cuba is actually ranked ahead of the USA in certain metrics such as live/healthy births, human life expectancy, access to health care, etc. Just would have been nice if he could have done it without creating a brutal, totalitarian police state. In that, he was no better than Batista and perhaps even worse.

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Just because something is slow, boring, black and white, told tangentially to it's main point, has characters who look bored and above it all and is about something non-traditional does NOT make it an "artistic" film.
Bunch of boring drivel.......

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Fair enough, i thought you were stating that the absence of people bashing any film that has anything to do with communism was only advantageous because it meant that no one saw the film.

I also didn't really read your post that carefully and was basically responding to comments made in the post title, but not the post itself. The beautiful cinematography thing threw me off; I thought you were saying the cinematography was the film's only redeeming quality. Upon re-reading your post it clearly doesn't contain any actual criticism of the film, but attacks people who bash films they can't handle, which was what i was attempting to do in my response.

A simple mistake. I should have known you weren't out to bash Soy Cuba by your use of the word jingoism, although now i supsect you may be a communist (jk).

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Communist?

Please, we prefer the term "Social Democrat".

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I know chickenblood; he is a communist. But the movie's great anyway.

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I am a Commie-bashing, Nixon-lovin, Reagan-supportin, Bush 1 (naw, never mind, he had no gonads) but DEFINITELY W WORSHIPPING cowboy diplomat from Halliburton who has made more money on CIA contracts selling container offices in wartorn countries since the Cold War than Jesus, and I love the cinematography!!

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Good joke. chickenblood. The movie avoid the attacks because it is too beautiful, too poetic, too surreal and too old. It will be very stupid for commie bashers to bash a movie which has been abondaned by Soviet and Cuba themselves for 40 years.

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Excellent film, I am including this as one of my all-time favorite movies. I would like to add a small political comment: I am half Cuban, my father's familly fled circa 1962 dispersing themselves across the globe (US, Spain, S. America to name some areas.) Subsequently, I grew up hearing countless stories about wonderful "old Cuba". It is apparent to me that the days of yore were wonderful for a small percent of (white) Cubans and tourists while the majority of its citizens lived in unspeakable poverty. It's hard now to imagine a time when Castro sounded like a good idea to anyone but these little stories shed some light on his palatability.
Interestingly, a remake would find much of the same oppression exists only now the people are too afraid and removed to whisper of a revolution.

http://www.myspace.com/clunkygirl

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Beutiful film? Damn, you guys aaaaaaaaaaare really communist.

I watch a good part of the first CD and I thought besides the great camara work, the plot was propaganda Cold War Cuban Style. Having to lisent to Rusky over Cuban spanish made me puke.

Most of the film show the hyprocarcy of the beging of the revolucion complaining that turism, foreign capitalism and prostition was a reason for a revolucion. And now that Fifo needs dolars is all you see in Cuba. Jineteras, Spanish Capitalism and push for making Turism the number one industry.

(Okay, ok I have not seen the rest of the film yet), but I am not that impressed with the plot.

Das Ve da na.

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If you are interested about the movie itself, finish the film first, read some articles about it or the existing posts in this board. And there is a decent documentary "Soy Cuba, O Mamute Siberiano" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0436784/ will be very helpful for you to understand its historical context and its artistic greatness. If you come here just want to bash communism, frankly, my dear, no one here give a damn. So dont post such stupid and ignorant thing, it just insults commie-bashers' intelligence.

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Nooooo, I am bashing the film, I saw the whole thing, and I haven't change my mind. and I tell you why at length some other time when I truly feel inspired .... And I tell you, I do not need to read articles nor the http:// that you suggest for me to think any different. I do not need to understand its historical context(I lived it), I still think it deserved to be bashed.

The only one worth praise is the camaraman (or person, which ever you prefer).

But frankly, my mommy dearest, aren't you giveing me a cheap immitation of "Gone with the Wind"? If you think there is Artistic Greatness in this film, I am not going to take it away from you. look like you need it, .. be avangard.

Just to give you a little taste of what I think about this film..... I think it is slow, extremely slow. The initial lines in the first scene could have been better written by a 5 grader (it might have kept my interst)..... Those Rusian (or Cuban, I didn't recuignised them 47 years later) actors made poorly bad immitations of Americans. and they reminded me of Rusian Cartoon. And if you never seen Rusian Cartoon, you wouldn't know what I mean. Those actors in the first scene made a poor piss immitation of an ugly american, full of stereotypes and ..... you know the rest...... I scratch my head to where they found the American Sailors to do the ending of the first part. And then have such poor first scene ............ From there, I truly think the film goes down hill. You think is artisitic, I think I puck!!

Just for your own and little political knowleadge (and if you don't think there is not political message in this film look again), probrably more than half (I am being generouse)of the Cuban cast is now in exile. That is probrably why the film was not released earlier.

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<<<<Nooooo, I am bashing the film>>>>
Your last post was bashing people here. Read your first line.

<<<<And I tell you, I do not need to read articles nor the http:// that you suggest for me to think any different. I do not need to understand its historical context(I lived it), I still think it deserved to be bashed. >>>>

Yeah, you probably don't need to read anything about the film, including what I am writing now. But if you want to criticize other people's works or words, if you want to provide your own valuable opinions and have a serious discussion, you have to first know the FACTS and understand people(especially the movie makers) from their points of view and get into their historical or social backgrounds. It takes years and even decades to truly understand a great film and history itself. This is why the film is kind of rediscovery by Western directors, because Cuban and Soviet audience never got it. So even if you lived in one of those communist countries, frankly, you are not supposed to understand it more easily, and ironically, you are not supposed to understand what you was living in, either, because your view is not objective. And remember what those Cuban people commented about this movie, the movie is not "I am Cuba", but "I am not Cuba".


<<<<But frankly, my mommy dearest, aren't you giveing me a cheap immitation of "Gone with the Wind"? If you think there is Artistic Greatness in this film, I am not going to take it away from you. look like you need it, .. be avangard. >>>>

I believe art and science are systems built on basic concepts, logics(or rules) and primitive actions(techinques). For me, being avant-guard, politically, aesthetically or whatever, is meaningless. I only care what they did, not what they are labeled. First focus on techniques and details, then talk about styles.

<<<<I think it is slow, extremely slow. The initial lines in the first scene could have been better written by a 5 grader (it might have kept my interst)..... >>>>

Ok, let's talk about the details in the scene of initial lines, I will list something you should notice, from the beginning, the movement in the helicopter shot, from land to sea(those trees produced some waving effects), and then the tilted panning shot from sea to sky; and notice how great is the compostion of that picture when the first line begins, the contrast between the trees and the sky, the aperture they used and the image quality(remember the film was designed to shoot the dartside of the moon). Then the follow shot of the boatman, a extremely beautiful scene: the stick, the body of the boatman and the backgroud create an exaggerated feeling of distance, and notice the movement of the boat in the space of the water, the land, the sky and the buildings, the movement of the boatman and the movement of the camera inside the boat, they are just great!


<<<<Those Rusian (or Cuban, I didn't recuignised them 47 years later) actors made poorly bad immitations of Americans. and they reminded me of Rusian Cartoon. And if you never seen Rusian Cartoon, you wouldn't know what I mean. Those actors in the first scene made a poor piss immitation of an ugly american, full of stereotypes and ..... you know the rest...... I scratch my head to where they found the American Sailors to do the ending of the first part. And then have such poor first scene ............ From there, I truly think the film goes down hill. You think is artisitic, I think I puck!! >>>>

Ok, you hate those Russian actors performances. That may be the main reason why you hate the movie. Frankly, my dear, get over it! It a political propaganda film in 1964!! Do you know how poorly Hollywood films described communist countries and foreign soldiers in 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and even today?! Come on, get over it. The important things about this film is not about politics or history, it is not about US Navy sailors, is not even really about Cuban people!!

<<<<Just for your own and little political knowleadge (and if you don't think there is not political message in this film look again), probrably more than half (I am being generouse)of the Cuban cast is now in exile. That is probrably why the film was not released earlier.>>>>

If you really have any knowledge about this film, you should know the film was released both in Cuba and Soviet Union in 1964. But people in both of these countries didn't get it, and it has been discarded and forgotten by them for nearly 40 years(One main actor even forgets his presence in this film). And also if you have watched the documentary I listed above, you will know how wrong is your guess of the Cuban cast.

As I have said in some post before, it is the achievements of cinematography, the perfectionism and creativity of the director and the cinematographer that make this film rediscoveried and make film great. So commie-bashers from western countries, from precommunist countries or whatever places, if you want to express your hatred to Stalin, Mao or Castro, frankly, you are barking up the wrong tree here. It is just like selling anti-communism cliches on the message board of "Battleship Potemkin", which only insults people's intelligence, including your own.


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You take this *beep* too seriously.................... To take it so personally requires some kind of an attachment.

Sorry, I look at it again (I have a copy) to see if I could see any thing else. And the only thing I found was the camara work is the only art in the movie.

The film still full of miss information and exagerations and even some poor acting. And to tell you the truth I am not interested in other movies of the cold war. I am talking about this one. I am not crtiquing another movie only this one.

I don't know if I mention it before, and I am not sure about the real numbers, but a great number of the actors and staff in this movie are now in exile. Someone told me that there is a movie critiquin the movie, which I have not found yet nor seen.

I guess this movie raise my curriosity enought to look at it again and see if I find anything worthwhile mention.

I am a naive critiquer, I do not have a course in cinema appreciation. I either like it or not and I don't have to be deap.

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<<<You take this *beep* too seriously.................... To take it so personally requires some kind of an attachment. >>>

Review your first post here, who took it personally?

I am not sure what you meant "attachment" here, I like the movie very much, that is all, without any personal bond or connection with your commie countries or this commie movie, I got the DVD and the documentary(from cable) though. So stop your offensive logic that anyone loves the movie msut be a commie or having "some kind of an attachment".

<<<The film still full of miss information and exagerations and even some poor acting. And to tell you the truth I am not interested in other movies of the cold war. I am talking about this one. I am not crtiquing another movie only this one. >>>

Reasonable people don't care its political propaganda context and the "poor acting", that is why bashing commies is stupid here. Just get over it.

<<<I am a naive critiquer, I do not have a course in cinema appreciation. I either like it or not and I don't have to be deap. >>>

So have you read the book of "How to be a decent critiquer"? Isn't its first chapter titled with "Do not insult people"?

A lot of "naive" critiquers jump out everyday bashing classic movies by ignoring their greatness and exaggerating minor flaws. I have no interest in persuading anyone. Some of them are just ignorant, not really stupid or stubborn, so I would like to share my opinions and information with them, but they get it or not, I dont give a sh*t.

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I guess I'm a "commie", then, because I liked this movie immensely.

"Come, muse, let us sing of rats."

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First of all, telling truth doesn't mean it is not propaganda. Propaganda uses everything (including truth, partial truth and lies) to create illusions, propagate ideas, bring up emotions and prevent rational thinking and inspecting on "truth". Second, as a matter of fact, it is a propaganda film, because that is exactly what the movie makers(especially writer and director) planned to create. They didn't want to make a news or historical documentary(actually even documentaries could lie because of film editing techniques). Third, this is not a sucessful propaganda film because the techniques used in the film were beyond its time, which were so creative that actually damaged the political purpose of the film.

BTW: About bashing Amercian propaganda films, IMO, here is not really the right place to express the hatre to Hollywood, not saying how many commuinst or leftist sympathizers there and how American directors rediscoveried this film. If you really love this film, focus on its techniques, forget the political content, that is how a reasonable soul shows respects to a masterpiece.

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Geeze, first time I agree with you Stef.

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The first time the movie was shown in Cuba and Rusia, the people were not impressed either. They should have given us a message the first time.

Wasn't Holywood that brought it back in 200O? So that makes this movie chauvinist rubbish?

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It's lucky for the wilfully ignorant that history only began in 1964.[/irony]
This conveniently ignores the history and background to the Batista years. Something that strangely appears to have been excised from US history books.
Being a mafia stooge, and turning an island into a honeypot of prostitution and gambling for the wonderfully benevolent imperial tourists might seem fine if you're coining it like Batista and his corrupt clique.
But it doesn't put much food on the table for 95% of the population. Nor does it seek to educate, innoculate, or otherwise improve the lot of those people.
That the cause can be so effectively obscured behind the effects is tribute indeed to the relentless propaganda curtain that has been draped over Cuba by the disgruntled former imperial power across the water.
Teofilio Stevenson was right. Cuba has a healthier, far more educated population than it's vain overbearing neighbour to the northwest. It also has a vibrant culture of its own that has successfully avoided the homogenisation process..
Why not ask Michael Moore how petty and vindictive his own repressive regime can be when it comes to annoying vested interests? Plus ca change.

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I also like "Triumph of the Will," so it balances out.

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I guess that makes Paul Thomas Anderson, martin Scorsese, and tons of other directors communists as well. I think you just miss the point Francoca. It's not like any one expects the acting or screenwriting to be any good in a piece of propaganda from 1964. This movie is watched and respected and remembered by film fans because of just how unbeleivably inpressive it is, especially considering the historical context of when it was made and using what technology. Watching it, I wasn't particularly concerned with the "story" or lack-there-of. Yes, there are powerful scenes and moments, but overall, let's face it, there really isn't a lot going on. And it is slow. But it's so incredibly beautiful, who cares? Just like the average dolt loves Transformers for its impressive CG and explosions, because they arent looking for good story or dialogue (obviously, because they are even worse than Soy Cuba's) This movie is remembered for one reason, and to come on here and talk about it made you want to puke because of its story is just retarded. That's really it. You sound like a retard. Because no one cares about that stuff. You should watch as a film buff because the camera work and cinematography is engaging enough to hold my attention for 3 hours, even longer if I had my choice.

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Cinema is first and foremost a visual medium. Soy Cuba is a masterpiece.

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It's one of my favorite movies ever and I dislike communism quite a bit. Whatever, dude.

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