11/24/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

PBS Home Video presents
American Experience: Fidel Castro (2005)

"Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me." 
- Fidel Castro

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: February 01, 2005

Stars: Fidel Castro
Other Stars: Richard Nixon, Leonid Brezhnev, Henry Kissinger, David Ogden Stiers
Director: Adriana Bosch

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:50m:33s
Release Date: February 01, 2005
UPC: 841887050128
Genre: documentary


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+B+B+ D+

DVD Review

Fidel Castro has been in power in Cuba for close to fifty years now, longer than any head of state in any country in this and the previous century, and yet he remains an incendiary figure. You can count on one hand the countries that cling ardently to the tenets of socialism—in fact, after Cuba and the People's Republic of China, you may start scrambling to round out that list. Of course, so much of the motivating force behind the Cuban regime is not ideology, but rather the cult of personality of Fidel—he has been unquestioningly adored and widely reviled, and it's a pretty fair wager that the Communist experiment ninety miles off the coast of Florida will die when its leader does. And that doesn't appear to be happening any time soon.

Castro's is a life dense with detail, with change, with consequences and contradictions; when he finally passes, no doubt he'll be ripe for the Robert Caro treatment. This documentary cannot provide a high degree of depth about the man and his times, but it is a useful and well-produced overview, two hours crammed with information, context and perspective. Adriana Bosch's film chronicles Fidel's early days—he grew up on a sugar plantation, where his father was lord of the manor, his mother a maid. Castro attended the University of Havana, got married and honeymooned in New York, and became a leading figure in his country when he led the uprising against the Bautista regime—Castro did hard time in prison, then fomented his revolution from the Sierra Maestra mountains, where he and his band of rebels, which included Che Guevara, prepared to depose Bautista.

Images of the revolutionary Fidel are well known, but less familiar are his baby pictures and the shots of him growing up; the film also ably documents the burgeoning cult of personality around Castro, which began with the romanticization of his guerrilla war. As you might expect, the film dwells particularly on the periods just before and after the revolution, with particular time and attention spent on the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis, and is candid on assessing the successes and gargantuan failures of the Castro regime. Universal health care is probably the best thing that Castro provided for the citizens of Cuba, but he also presided over decades of economic catastrophe, subservience to the Soviet Union, and the unwise, dangerous and expensive exportation of revolution to places like Angola and Nicaragua.

The documentary whips pretty quickly through the Mariel boatlift, the end of the Cold War and the demise of Cuba's principal benefactor, and where the country stands today; a good amount of time is rightly spent on the barbaric and well-documented human rights abuses in Cuba, against those termed enemies of the state. David Ogden Stiers narrates, and Bosch intercuts archival clips with contemporary interviews—the array of journalists, writers, Cuban exiles and others includes Castro's daughter and leaders of the émigré community; perhaps the best of these is Brian Latell, a former CIA analyst on the Cuba desk.

Bosch ends on a note of regret—the promise of the revolution, the squandered opportunity, the unnecessarily difficult lives of most Cubans due to mismanagement (and worse) by the Castro regime. There's not a lot of psychobiography here; Castro has long kept his own counsel, and we're not privy to what makes him tick. But the film offers an artful and straightforward telling of the principal facts, without being overly didactic or doctrinaire.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: A sharp and solid transfer; the new interview footage looks fine, and the archival clips are in surprisingly good condition.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Nicely balanced, and you're always in good company with the smooth aural stylings of David Ogden Stiers.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Spanish with remote access
1 Deleted Scenes
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. information on PBS Online
Extras Review: A featurette (08m:15s) offers reflections from director Adriana Bosch, an American of Cuban descent, and Mark Samels, from American Experience, the PBS series in which this documentary appeared. There's also a deleted sequences (04m:56s) on the current, sorry state of the Cuban economy.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

A smart introduction to the life and times of one of the most incendiary and enduring figures on the world political stage.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store