I Am Cuba, Siberian Mammoth

An absorbing and intelligent Brazilian documentary about the legendary 1964 Soviet-Cuban coproduction I Am Cuba, a monumental revolutionary epic that was disastrously received, then shelved before being revived in the early 90s. Interviewing Cubans as well as Russians who worked on the film, directed by Mikhail Kalatozov, Vicente Ferraz clarifies some facts about the productionrevealing among other things that cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky’s wife, Bella Friedman, played a significant creative role. He’s also attentive to the ironies implicit in the film’s fate without being derisive or uncritical. In Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese with subtitles. 90 min. (JR)

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