For this assignment, I watched Soy Cuba. This movie its based on the history of Cuba and how the Cuban people had been affected during different stages leading to the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro. The first part of the movies is based on the story of Maria. A Cuban girl who lives in a poor town closed to Havana. Maria is in love with his boyfriend Rene, a fruit seller, who hopes to get married with her. Anyway, Maria works in a very fancy bar filled with rich Americans. In this place Maria is known as Betty and a dancer. One day, Maria met rich gentlemen at the bar and the man asked her to take him where she lives. It was at night, well she end up taking him to her place, where will undress and the man turn off the light. So, The next morning he gave her a few dollars for her services and took Maria crucifix necklace. Anyway, when the man was about to leave, Maria boyfriend, Rene walks in. He sees his ashamed Maria naked in bed and couldn’t believe it. Then the American man viciously says, “Bye Betty” and leaves. Soon after, they show the American guy walking and every kid in the area asked him for a coin or some money. This shows a contrast between the Cuban masses and the rich Americans running the bars and casinos.
The second part of the movies is about an old farmer, Pedro, who raised his biggest crop of sugar, when his landlord goes to the farm where Pedro is harvesting his crops. This man tells Pedro that he has sold the land to a fruit company in the United States. The landlord also asks Pedro to leave with his family and forget about the crops and his house. Soon after, Pedro lies to his family and tells them everything is fine. He gives them all the money hi has left, so they can go and have fun in the city, claiming that he will make a lot of money with his crops. Later on, Pedro sets all his crops and house on fire and then dies from the smoke he inhaled.
The third part of the movies describes a group of rebellious students at the Havana University led by a guy named Enrique. This group wants to do something to change the government of the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista. One day, Enrique buys a Newspaper where they announced that Fidel Castro and all of the Batista opposition were killed. Then, Enrique goes to the Havana University and talked with his comrades about the news. But his comrades tell him that they already know that Fidel Castro wasn’t dead. Soon after, they begin to write flyers, so they can inform the other people knows that Fidel Castro wasn’t dead. However, as the movies progresses, Enrique goes and planned to assassinate the chief of police. But when he was able to assassinate the chief, he sees the chief of police surrounded by young children and he couldn’t pulled the trigger. Later on, Enrique comrades are arrested it by police officers and Enrique led another protest at the Havana University. Suddenly, the police broke up the crowd and Enrique was shot during the riot. Finally, the last part of the movie shows how a farmer, Mariano, joined the rebels in the Sierra Maestra Mountains in Cuba, where they end up leading to a triumphal march into Havana to proclaim the Cuban Revolution.
I believe this film connects to our class because the director used different techniques and different camera shots. Also contains a lot of different camera angles, which help to convey the mood of how was life in Cuba during those times. In addition, the fact that the movie is in black and white, it gives the film a different tone of the life in the 60’s. In this film, the director used to focus in different part of the movies. For example: in the first part of the film, the scene where the American guy was surrounded by Cuban poor kids after getting out of Maria house, the cameraman only focus was in the American guy and not the kids. The film does not contain a lot of zooms but instead the camera gets a really close look to objects.
This is a great movie, I love it and I really liked it. Good to know Cuban stories like this, especially for me, since Cuba is close to my home country the Dominican Republic. Also, I really liked the way these four stories come together and everything to get to the Cuban revolution. I never knew of a movie like this about Cuba and it is really interesting of how the portray Cuba, before Fidel Castro. Also, the narrator of the movie give example of why is Cuba the way it is today.