- SKU: 20735574
- Release Date: 11/20/2007
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Ratings & Reviews
- Disc 1:
- I Am Cuba - a new high-definition master from the original Russian 35mm fine-grain interpositive
- Video interview with Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese (26 min.)
- Language tracks in both English and Russian with new English subtitles
- Cuban version of opening credits
- Original Milestone trailer
- Stills gallery
- Disc 2:
- The Siberian Mammouth, Vincente Ferraz's award-winning documentary on the making of I Am Cuba (2005, 91 min., Color/B&W, Portugese, Spanish & Russian with English subtitles)
- CUNY City Cinematheque interview with screenwriter Yevgeny Yevtushenko (2004, 10 min., Color, English)
- Disc 3:
- A Film About Mikhail Kalatozov - a comprehensive documentary on this giant of Russian Cinema (2006, 120 min., Color/B&W, English & Russian with English subtitles)
- I Am Cuba - a booklet on the making of the film and its history since then
Languishing during its initial 1964 release yet later hailed as a classic by film scholars some three decades later, the landmark Cuban/Soviet co-production I Am Cuba forms the foundation of filmmaker Vicente Ferraz's insightful documentary. The time was the 1960s, and revolution was sweeping through the streets of Cuba. As the Caribbean island country gradually began focusing their efforts on creating a new film culture, a group of Soviet filmmakers led by director Mikhail Kalatozov vowed to support their brothers and sisters in celluloid. The result was a film that paid tribute to the political struggles and ideals that had come to define Cuba, a film punctuated by remarkable technical bravura and genuinely sincere performances by a cast of nonprofessional actors. Now, in addition to discussing the traits that made the film truly stand the test of time, the filmmakers, technicians, and actors responsible for bringing I Am Cuba to the big screen sit down to reflect on their experiences making the film, and its remarkable transformation from forgotten classic to revered masterpiece. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
I Am Cuba
An unabashed exercise in cinema stylistics, I Am Cuba is pro-Castro/anti-Batista rhetoric dressed up in the finest clothes. The film's four dramatic stories take place in the final days of the Batista regime; the first two illustrate the ills that led to the revolution, the third and fourth the call to arms which cut across social and economic lines. A lovely young woman in a nightclub frequented by crass American businessmen takes a customer to her modest seaside shack for a night of pleasure for pay, only to be found out by her street vendor suitor; a tenant farmer is told that his crop has been sold to United Fruit and in frustration burns his fields; a middle-class student rallies his pals and workers in a street demonstration against the regime; a peasant eking out a living in the mountains quickly converts to the cause when Batista bombers strafe his land in search of rebel fighters. At face value, this is all obvious agitprop, but director Mikhail Kalazatov turned his cinematographer, Sergei Urusevsky, loose, and the result is a procession of dazzling black-and-white images, shot with a camera that is almost always moving and soaring over the sugar fields, swooping in and out of urban buildings, following characters down narrow streets. Unreleasable to American theaters during the Cold War, I Am Cuba, through the auspices of filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese, got a belated U.S. release in 1995 and has proved to be both a time capsule of a fading political movement and a timeless work of cinematic art. ~ Tom Wiener, Rovi
A Film About Mikhail Kalatozov
The career of revered Russian filmmaker Mikhail Kalatozov is explored in this documentary film comprised of rare behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with French director Claude Lelouch, and conversations with some of the biggest names in contemporary Russian cinema. Kalatozov's grandson Mikhail Kalatozishvili pays tribute to the director of such timeless classics as I Am Cuba, Salt for Svanetia, and The Cranes are Flying as such notable fans as Andrei Konchalovsky, Sergei Solovyov, and Alexei Batalov discuss the remarkable influence Kalatozov had on their own film careers. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
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