Key West Art & Historical Society’s film series continues on Thursday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m. in the Helmerich Research & Learning Center at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front Street with “Soy Cuba” (I am Cuba) a Cuban-Soviet co-production filmed following the Cuban missile crisis as an anti-American propaganda film, which has been described as “a visual masterpiece.”
Released in 1964, “I am Cuba” was not shown in the U.S. until 1992, when through the efforts of Pacific Archives film curator Edith Kramer and Telluride Film Festival co-director Tom Luddy it was acquired and shown at Telluride, where it caught the attention of Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese who later jointly “presented” its theatrical release in the United States.
With actors Luz Maria Collazo, Jose Gallardo, Sergio Corrieri, Mario Gonzalez Broche, Jean Bouise, Raul Garcia and Celia Rodriguez, “I am Cuba” consists of four vignettes, each illustrating an individual component of the Cuban revolution. Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov, co-written by world-renowned Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Cuban novelist Enrique Pineda Barnet, with cinematography by Sergei Urusevsky, “I am Cuba” was shot in high contrast black & white and also with infrared film acquired from East German labs. The film is widely lauded for its daring camera work, called “jaw-dropping,” “spectacular,” and “gravity-defying,” and all executed in a time before steadicams existed.
141 minutes, in Spanish and Russian with English subtitles, “I am Cuba” was selected by Society board member and cineaste Michael Shields to compliment the March 9 KWAHS Distinguished Speaker Series presentation by Fidel Castro’s daughter, Alina Fernandez.
Made possible in part by the generosity of the Helmerich Trust, the Key West Art & Historical Society film series is curated by Society board member and cineaste Michael Shields, who offers “films that expand our vistas and give us fresh views of our home.” Tickets for the event can be purchased online kwahs.org/education/filmseries: $5 for members, $10 for non-members. For more information about this and other programs, please contact Adele Williams, Director of Education, at 305-295-6616, ext. 115. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.