I AM CUBA
Director: Mikhail Kalatozov Run Time: 140 min. Release Year: 1964 Language: Spanish
Starring: Jean Bouise, José Gallardo, Luz María Collazo, Raúl García, Sergio Corrieri
Director Mikhail Kalatozov’s delirious masterpiece uses four stunning vignettes to paint a picture of pre-revolutionary Cuba, its culture, and the people who call the island home. Newly restored in breathtaking 4K with a single-language soundtrack, I AM CUBA has never looked better, with sweeping visuals lending grandeur to the film’s outstanding cinematography, sound editing, and narrative heft like never before. Produced by Mosfilm and ICAIC, shooting began only a week after the Cuban Missile Crisis and was poised to be the island nation’s response to both Sergei Eisenstein’s acclaimed propaganda piece (Battleship Potemkin) and Jean-Luc Godard’s recently acclaimed romance (Breathless). Instead, I AM CUBA turned out to be a wildly offbeat celebration of Communist iconography, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality in a combination that received two standing ovations at the San Francisco International Film Festival, as well as the first ever joint presentation from filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.