Fact-based (?) drama about the rise of FidelCastro from a respected lawyer in Cuba to rabble-rousing dissident topower-hungry ruler of his nation. One wonders about the facts in thisvery homogenized presentation though. The story goes something likethis: Fidel meets future wife, gets married, has a child, politicalaspirations get in way of family, Fidel has a politically-motivatedaffair, gets thrown in jail, gets expelled from the country, comes backand fights out of the jungle for a few years, casts then leaderBaptistsa out of power and seizes leadership. Once seizing power, hekills everyone who opposes him or disagrees with him - although onceagain this aspect is very watered down. The promised idea of a freeelection is also quickly dismissed as not in the people's bestinterests. Fidel's immense popularity with the people at the time ofhis coming into power is depicted, but the anti-Castro thought is onlybriefly touched upon in a discussion with a former restaurant workerwith whom Castro comes in contact and in follow-up notes at the film'send. The film may have been more successful if it ended at his rise topower as there are way too many unanswered questions about the yearsthat follow. The Cuban missile crisis is only briefly touched upon andCastro's belief that he will be able to work with President Kennedyappears totally naive.
Review from Amazon
This is the first movie I see where Castro is portrayed as what hetruly is, a tyrant. It happens that I know someone who knows Castrofirst hand; his descriptions of Castro's outbursts matches the movie'sportray of his dealing with ministers. The movie also describes quiteaccurately some important moments of the "revolution", the so called"el cordon de la Habana", "la zafra del 70" and other Castro monumentaleconomic failures. All based on his direct top-down command style,absolute ignorance of agriculture practices, economics and his refusalto acknowledge human nature. Coffee trees do not grow in plain fieldseven if commanded by Castro, they are not cuban citizens and therefore,they are inmune to Castro's wrath.
I was also quite impressed by the portray of Che Guevara, an ineptdoctor who ruined the Cuban economy and did not hesitate in sendingthousands of people to firing squads without trial. This movie isprobably the first that dares to portray him as what he was. SomehowChe has been elevated to some kind of hero by people who did not knowhim or lived under his rule. It has become almost a sacriley to sayanything that may "offend" his memmory. Fortually for the rest of theworld, the commander who lead his capture was a Cuban, he knew whathappened when Castro was captured in 1956, after attacking an Armygarrision, sentenced to 12 years in prison and then released after two.He did not hesitate in ordering Che's killing. We have a say in spanish"muerto el perro se acaba la rabia" ("dead the dog, no rabies").
The movie closes with a couple of Castro statements that I clearlyremember and that reflect his absolutist nature..."if one day I am toldthat 100% of the population does not support the revolution, I wouldkeep going..."
Thanks to the producers, actors and director.
Kudos for your courage to stand up for the truth.
Subtitles: Brazilian Portuguese, English and Dutch
Video codec: XviD
Video bitrate: 516 kbps
Audio codec: Lame MP3
Audio bitrate: 121 kbps
Len: 02hs 31min
Frame rate: 23.976
Resolution: 320 x 240 (4:3)