In this Soviet take on the Cuban revolutionary experience, Mikhail Kalatozov attempted to create a film as powerful as Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin. Set in the mid-1950s during the Batista dictatorship, the film traverses four loosely narrated stories portraying life in pre-revolutionary Cuba.
Shot in luscious black and white and demonstrating acrobatic camerawork, the film is an exhilarating visual experiment by Kalatozov and his cinematographer, Sergei Urusevskii, in what they termed ‘emotional camerawork’ – a technique to express characters’ feelings through camera movements. The film remained practically unknown until it was rediscovered in the early 1990s, but is now considered a masterpiece of world cinema.
Part of the Kino Klassika Foundation’s A World to Win programme
- BBFC rating
- Running time
- 135 mins
- Cuba, USSR
- Mikheil Kalatozishvili
- Sergio Corrieri, Salvador Wood, Jose Gallardo