One of the most deliriously beautiful films ever made.

— Manohla Dargis, New York Times

Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba)

Film • Jun 23

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Newly restored in 4K!

Produced by Mosfilm and ICAIC, this film was started only a week after the Cuban missile crisis and was designed to be Cuba’s answer to both Sergei Eisenstein’s propaganda masterpiece, Potemkin and Jean-Luc Godard’s freewheeling romance, Breathless. But I Am Cuba turned out to be something quite unique — a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist iconography, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality. The plot, or rather plots, feverishly explore the seductive, decadent (and marvelously photogenic) world of Batista’s Cuba — deliriously juxtaposing images of rich Americans and bikini-clad beauties sipping cocktails poolside with scenes of ramshackle slums filled with hungry children and gaunt elderly citizens.

Using wide-angle lenses that distort and magnify and filters that transform palm trees into giant white feathers, cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky’s acrobatic camera achieves wild gravity-defying angles as it glides effortlessly through long continuous shots. But I Am Cuba is not just a catalog of bravura technique — it also succeeds in exploring the innermost feelings of the characters and their often desperate situations. Shown unsubtitled at the San Francisco International Film Festival, I Am Cuba received two standing ovations — during the screening. The first movie ever jointly presented by master filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, I Am Cuba is one of the great discoveries in cinema. It will change your view of cinema forever!

This screening will be followed by a talkback with Charles Bierbauer, Distinguished Professor and Dean Emeritus at the UofSC School of Journalism and Mass Communications. 

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USA. 1995. 108 minutes. Not Rated.
NR