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I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba)

DIRECTED BY: MIKHAIL KALATOZOV | 1964 | 2H 20M | UNRATED | IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

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OPENS 3/22

O Cinema Miami Beach

500 71st St, Miami Beach (786) 207-1919

Additional information

• Adults – $11.00
• Older Adults (62+ years old w/ valid ID) – $9.50
• Students & Teachers (w/ valid ID) – $9.50
• Children (12 years old & under) – $9.50
• Military (w/ valid ID) – $9.50
• O Cinema Members – $7.50
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Hidden away in the Soviet archives for three decades, I AM CUBA (SOY CUBA) is a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist kitsch, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality — a whirling, feverish dance through both the sensuous decadence of Batista’s Havana and the grinding poverty and oppression of the Cuban people, garnered praise over the past two decades for its “death-defying” camera work with swooping dolly shots and long takes, all done before Steadicams and small helicopter cameras.

I AM CUBA (SOY CUBA) is one of the landmarks of world cinema, first revealed to American audiences 30 years after its production. Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov, born in Georgia and praised for THE CRANES ARE FLYING (1957), set out to create a Cuban film as powerful as Eisenstein’s BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, a rallying point for a nascent revolution. With a script by the Soviet Union’s internationally famed poet Yevgeni Yevtushenko and Cuban author Enrique Pineda Barnet, the film is divided into four sections: “Ugly American” tourists taking advantage of Cuban women’s poverty, the anguish of a tenant farmer whose land has been sold to the United Fruit Company, the optimistic actions of a student revolutionary, and the decision by another peasant to join the revolutionary forces after his home has been destroyed by government planes.

Mikhail Kalatozov’s wildly mobile, hallucinatory film was initially rejected by both Cuban and Soviet officials for excessive naiveté and an insufficiently revolutionary spirit, and went largely disregarded and almost unknown for nearly 30 years. That all changed in the early nineties—a remarkable era in film culture, chock full of rediscoveries—when Tom Luddy programmed it at the Telluride Film Festival, and Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola co-presented a Milestone Films release. I AM CUBA is a one-of-a-kind film experience, a visually mind-bending bolt from the historical blue.

“As an example of lyrical black and white filmmaking, it is still stunning. If you see it, try to figure out how the camera floated down that wall.”
– ROGER EBERT

“One of the most stylistically vigorous films of all time.”
– SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

“In a sense, it’s a movie about looking past surfaces to see what’s in front of you. It takes the time to look around and discovers majesty, beauty and pathos everywhere it turns.”
– LOS ANGELES TIMES

“It is a dream of life in which everything is reduced to black and white. Or as the rhetoric used to go, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Nothing was ever quite that simple.”
– NEW YORK TIMES

“The resulting assault is so epicly impassioned it’s less about Cuba per se than the fusillade of movement, shadow, light, vertigo, and landscape on the viewer’s tender optic nerves.”
– VILLAGE VOICE

“Audacious, thrilling, erotic (and in three languages, no less), I Am Cuba is a lost masterpiece of filmmaking finally seeing the light of day 30 years after its production.”
– AUSTIN CHRONICLE