Search - Fidel on DVD

Actors: Víctor Huggo Martin, Gael Garcia Bernal, Patricia Velasquez, Cecilia Suárez, Maurice Compte
Director: David Attwood
Genres: Drama, Television
UR     2002     3hr 26min

In 1959 Fidel Castro's tiny band of rebels toppled a corrupt Cuban dictatorship. Forty years later Castro remains in power incredibly surviving a CIA-led invasion a missile crisis eight assassination attempts nine U.S. pre...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Víctor Huggo Martin, Gael Garcia Bernal, Patricia Velasquez, Cecilia Suárez, Maurice Compte
Director: David Attwood
Creators: Checco Varese, David V. Picker, Guy Hibbert, Jose Ludlow, Kevin Cooper, Mariano Carranco, Stephen Tolkin
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, All Made-for-TV Movies
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/21/2002
Original Release Date: 01/27/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/27/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 3hr 26min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The 26th of July Movement
rballjones | Des Moines, IA USA | 01/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This English language film does well in bringing Fidel Castro to life as a personality and showing his role in the Cuban revolution. It has a great deal of excitement and drama, especially during the revolutionary period of the 50's, including a fair amount of military life and action. The filmmakers try to give a balanced view of Castro--illustrating his passion for the welfare of Cuban people but also showing how power in some ways went to his head. As Celia Sanchez tells him (around 1980 I believe), "Listen to what I have to say--don't interrupt me--you're losing touch with the people." "Fidel" is historically accurate from what I know and all the major characters in the Cuban revolution are depicted here including Sanchez, Raul Castro, Ernesto (Che) Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos. I think the filmmakers took on too much, however, in attempting to cover Fidel's life from 1949 to present. Many events are given too little exposure. Yet this film is much too long at about 3 hours and 20 minues. A better film might have focused on the revolution up through 1959 and ended with the march into Santiago--about two-thirds of what this one covers--leaving the rest for another day.All in all, "Fidel" is well done. For people in the U.S. it gives a good account of a major, and fairly recent, historical event (the Cuban Revolution) occuring just south of our border--an event of which most U.S. people have little knowledge."
skruff33 | Toronto, ON | 05/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I happened to see a brilliant film called Fidel at last year's Toronto Intl. F.F. It was the # movie on my list and it far surpassed my expectations. It shows the Cuban leader as a private man, and a socialist who set his native Cuba free 40 years ago and gave it back to the people as opposed to American Imperialistic swine. It was also a movie dir. by an American, Estella Bravo who moved to Cuba over 25 yrs. ago, this movie is great and I recommend it to anyone either socialists/or capitalists, political or none, it is a true representation of a man who has been one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century, and highly mis-understood. For the truth, look no further than this masterpiece."
A man who started off good, gained power and kept it for no
BernardZ | Melbourne, vic Australia | 06/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Almost like a book. When you have an interesting person and stick to the facts, you automatically have a good story.

This the actors do as the acting here is quite good. Victor Hugo Martin played extremely well.

Warning it is quite long film over 3 hours but I could have watched another three hours. I wish they had shown more of the Cuban crisis and Fidel Castro in the 1970s"
Pretty exhausting sweep through Cuban history: "Fidel"
KerrLines | Baltimore,MD | 04/04/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This 2000 3 part mini-series on the life and times of Fidel Castro, 40+ ruler/dictator in Cuba, is excellent and exhausting at the the same time. From 1949 Havana through the 1959 Revolution clear up to 2000 when Castro is poised to hand over control of the country to his brother (which just happened), director David Attwood covers an immense amount of ground, people, places, countries that, as far as I know and recall, is accurate historically. Attwood, shows us the man as the idealist who himself becomes the very embodiment of what he so much disliked-a dictator. The film is very fair in showing the accomplishments and the obvious failures, the love of the "little man" and the forgotten promises, and the openness of ideas to "off with their heads" mentality. Depending on which side you are on, you might feel there is a bias,which I could understand; but I honestly feel that this SHOWTIME series did it's level best to present an honest yet conflicted man who deposed a leader and set himself up as ruler.

Why three stars? There is an awful lot of information that gets thrown at you and glossed over in it's treatment, especially in the last hour of the film. The screenplay lurches forward, bouncing time zones, and you best be prepared. The only other problem that I saw, is that the entire production has that "made-for-T.V." look about it- very staged, and low-budget looking, especially in the scenes with lots of "extras" who chant "Fidel" and raise their placards. The series uses Latino actors speaking in a broken English. I can't help but wonder if the entire film would have been more effective if the actors had performed in their first tongue which would have given more dynamic to the piece. I noticed that especially with Gael Garcia Bernal, who played Che Guevara here in English, then played him in Spanish with far more lasting effect in The Motorcycle Diaries (Widescreen Edition).

One last note: I first watched this on VHS which is only 140 minutes and severely edited. The DVD contains the entire 206 minute running time. I actually would have been okay with the 140 minute version because the additional hour only stretches things out more with no added info except more time.

For other David Attwood mini-dramas, check out To the Ends of the Earth."