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Waiting for Fidel
Waiting for Fidel
Actor: Michael Rubbo
Director: Michael Rubbo
Genres: Documentary
NR     2004     0hr 58min

Filmmaker Michael Rubbo travels to Cuba to make a film about Fidel Castro. In Havana, important Cubans promise him access to Castro as they chauffeur his crew about the country. Day after day, the hopeful party waits; but ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Michael Rubbo
Director: Michael Rubbo
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Facets
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 10/26/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 0hr 58min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The benefit in waiting anxiously
Dana Garrett | 03/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A producer, a millionaire, and a former premier of Newfoundland travel to Cuba on the hope of interviewing Castro. For a variety of reasons, the interview is delayed. In the meantime, some Cuban officials take them on a tour of the island to witness various accomplishments of the revolution. They inspect a boarding school, a psychiatric facility for the chronically ill, a university, a housing construction site, and the beach at the Bay of Pigs. They meet various Cubans during the journey, and their journeys become the springboard for a variety of interesting political and economic debates.

The three personalities often clash on ideological grounds. The former premier is a socialist and the millionaire a capitalist. Yet, interestingly, the biggest clashes occur between the millionaire and the producer whose view of the revolution seems uncommitted but open. They clash mostly on the likely value of the film if, as it seems, Castro never appears to be interviewed. The millionaire believes the film will be worthless because the likely consequence of Fidel not showing is the film will not recover its costs. The producer cares less about the film's monetary success and more about its aesthetic and informational value. Clearly, these "practical" concerns betray and highlight their ideological commitments. Yet, ironically, it's precisely the anxious tensions and conflicts generated by waiting for Fidel that provide the film with its dramatic appeal.

Without a doubt, this is one of the best documentaries I have seen. It's apparent why Michael Moore would find this film seminal for his own work. I highly recommend readers purchase it."
"Are you using the advanced LSD therapy?"
Stephen M. Amy | Portland, OR United States | 03/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Am thinking it's usually good to title a review with the favorite line from the movie, which I've done.

Geoff Stirling (multi-millionaire) asks this of staff at the Cuban psychiatric facility. He also uses the aforementioned "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" reference while arguing for more individual initiative and self-realization than he perceives as existing in Cuba (which is funny because an outlandish allegory such as "Seagull" has little relation to the lives of homo-sapiens, as we are not able to physically transmorgify ourselves or visit paralell existences by sheer force of will).

In other words, Stirling is a 70s-era hippie-Libertarian-capitalist, and therefore is very entertaining to hear, but who also is slightly full of it (in the DVD-extras interview, Stirling claims there to be "submerged temples larger than St. Peter's" in a lake near Titicaca, although it's not Titicaca- not sure where this lake is).

I bet Stirling consults his horoscope before making stock trades.

Anyway, this is also a very interesting glimpse of '70s-era Cuba, well before all the concessions had to be made during the Special Period. The tour is guided, to be sure: the visitors are shown the best of Cuban society. But what they do see seems to be working well (the psychiatric facility evidences a degree of humanity that many right-wingers would naturally assume does not exist under Castro).

A great but too brief (less than an hour's running time) documentary."