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 »sidents and the fall of his Soviet allies.This riveting hard edged and intensely emotional drama traces the rise of one of history's most intriguing and controversial figures from a guerilla outpost to the presidential palace. Featuring a stellar cast and tightly woven script Fidel goes behind the politics to offer up a rare personal portrait of a man driven relentlessly by his convictions his pride and his passions.Ultimately as portrayed by Victor Huggo Martin the legendary Fidel Castro proves very human torn by his love for two women and despairing that the idealism charisma and will power that inspired a revolution could not build the free and prosperous nation he had envisioned.System Requirements: Running Time 140 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: NR UPC: 707729115199 Manufacturer No: 11519« less
"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."
This movie gave a good insight on Fidel.
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 11/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being that this was a TV mini-series through the production of Showtime it was pretty good. To me the first two hours of this movie was great. There are some very strong performances all round, and the activities are well researched and offer a fairly objective view of events. Obviously, many events are skirted over in order to fit the running time, but what is shown is a fairly accurate portrayal of history. The violence in particular is extremely well done, offering a very realistic portrayal of gunfire and its consequences, instead of some needlessly flashy OTT action.
The problem comes towards the 2nd half of the movie as Castro (played by Victor Huggo Martin) takes power of Cuba. Suddenly, the time-line lurches drastically to try and mention important events. The films low budget shows itself up as the film spans years and events with little or no regard to objective film making.
The movie is about Fidel, however, over the second half we suddenly cut to a very badly filmed sequence showing the death of Che Guevara (played by Gael García Bernal). Whilst certainly an important part of Fidel's life, the narrative shift from Fidel to Che seems clunky and out of place with the rest of the film. As a fan of Gael Garcia Bernal, I was especially interested in his character. However, I was left especially disappointed by Che's one-dimensional portrayal.
The desire to portray Fidel in a bad light, sacrifices the characterizations of the first half of the movie, and instead offers a clumsily scripted/filmed series of events designed to show Fidel in a bad light. The film should've ended when he took power. As it is, the final hour and a half ruin an otherwise great movie.
Grand Ideals and Theory Run Amok That pretty much sums up nearly every Communist revolution from Lenin to Fidel. This film showed that Fidel was living in the communist dream world, where everything would be alright as long as people sacrificed "For the Revolution!" What happened was crop shortages, political prisons getting filled with people who became just as oppressed under Castro as they had under Batista.
This movie showed the simple truth. As long as men are men, Communism can never work. "