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Author Topic: Comandante - Oliver Stone on Fidel
Polunatic
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posted 29 March 2004 03:43 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Anyone catch "Comandante", Oliver Stone's documentary film about Fidel and the Cuban Revolution?

It was the kind of film I wished would never end (or at least be a little longer). Of particular interest (although not necessarily startling new information) were the segments on the Cuban Missile Crisis and Che Guevara.

The only annoying thing about the film was that Fidel seemed to often be talking with his mouth full but I guess those were some of the times when his guard was down the most.


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Obsidian
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posted 01 April 2004 12:15 PM      Profile for Obsidian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I saw about an hour of it. Pretty interesting stuff, for sure -- although I was wondering whether you found Fidel credible or not in some of the things he said. I was watching the bit where Stone was asking him about Cuban advisors in Vietnam torturing POW's, which is obviously something that Stone would feel very strongly about, and I wasn't sure whether to believe Castro's denials or not. I guess that's the point of a good documentary, in a way -- makes you think, question your assumptions about the whole business.

Obsidian.


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Polunatic
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posted 01 April 2004 01:00 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, I found Fidel's reaction to that question to be one of the strongest and persuasive arguments he put forward in the film. Opposition to torture was portrayed as a defining feature of the Cuban revolution in comparison to its pervasive use under Battista.
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Obsidian
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posted 01 April 2004 02:11 PM      Profile for Obsidian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, I agree that his statements were strong and seemed to be principled. The reason I mentioned it in the first place was that I thought I recalled Stone mentioning that Cuban advisors involved in this sort of thing had been witnessed either by himself or POW's he'd spoken to. Now I was pretty tired when I was watching this, and I may just be remembering it wrong (or murkily).

I thought in general that the things Castro had to say seemed to have their "heart in the right place", as it were, and the documentary was a refreshing look at a man who's mostly seen as a caricature of a dictator in American media.


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Polunatic
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posted 01 April 2004 02:20 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Obsidian:
Yes, I agree that his statements were strong and seemed to be principled. The reason I mentioned it in the first place was that I thought I recalled Stone mentioning that Cuban advisors involved in this sort of thing had been witnessed either by himself or POW's he'd spoken to. Now I was pretty tired when I was watching this, and I may just be remembering it wrong (or murkily).
That was part of the story. However, Castro stated that there was only a handful of "observers" and that they were never played the role of advisors. He was adament that the Vietnamese were almost obsessive about not having any foreigners involved in their national liberation struggle. This view also jives with Macnamara's reflections in "The Fog of War" on how the US misunderstood Vietnamese intentions in that period.

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