I Am Cuba ★★★★½

85

Soy Cuba is the first film I've seen from director Mikhail Kalatozov, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. What a ravishing film, especially from the perspective of the camera. It is within the rousing emotion and energy of revolution that Mikhail Kalatozov offers a magical entry-point into this landscape. Long-takes that float through the air, observing the action, finding beauty in its top-down construction. Not to mention the intimacy of the camera in close-ups, a reminder that this is a personal story, no matter the success of its style. The innovative power of the images are properly conveying the importance of the subject. This is no mere exercise, but a historical snapshot, a cry for change, all while immersing itself in a balance of form and politics. Its vignette structure emphasizes the scope and passion at its center. If I saw this on release in 1964, it honestly would've re-wired my brain. And even in 2021, it still has that capacity.