Film Club: Night Visions: Soy Cuba

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

Nov. 21, 2017, 07:00 am

400 N Ashley Drive, Cube 200
PHONE 813-221-2222

In the early 60s, the Soviets sent director Mikhail Kalatozov and his crew to Cuba. By all accounts they were hoping for a straightforward piece of agitprop, something to advertise the benefits of the Cuban revolution in no uncertain terms.

What they got was 1964’s Soy Cuba, a nearly unclassifiable feat of stylistic brilliance. Kalatozov and his collaborators, among them cinematographer Sergey Urusevsky and editor Nina Glagoleva, may not have delivered exactly on their assignment: Soy Cuba is too sprawling, too diffuse to serve as an easy political tool.

Shooting on luminous black-and-white infared film, Kalatozov’s handheld camera is an engine of constant motion, rushing from jaw-dropping long takes to wild POV shots to blunt Eisenstenian montage. The images infuse the script—which on paper is exactly the kind of trite bullshit you can imagine the regime would want to flatter itself with—with teeming, overflowing life.

Ironically, the vibrant stylistic verve of Soy Cuba is as good an argument for fundamental resistance against capitalist oppression as anything—it was just too poetic for the Soviets. Watching the masses rising as one against brutal state violence and systemic injustice has the stirring power of a revolutionary anthem. You have nothing to lose but your chains.

NIGHT VISIONS: Soy Cuba (1964)
Tuesday, Nov. 21st, 2017
7:00pm Showtime
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
400 N Ashley Drive, Cube 200, Tampa, Florida 33602
$7 Film + Museum
Members Free
Free Wine + Popcorn

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