Soy Cuba, is a film dedicated to the revolt in Cuba. War and revolution, were the central themes in this film. There is a strong focus on Capitalism and the role that the U.S. played. There was a specific line drawn between those that supported capitalism and those that loathed the very thought. Mikhail Kalatozov, approached the film in a very different way than I have never seen previously. This film is consisted of 4 main parts, all showing Cubans and their struggles within the capitalist country. Cuba, took a very diverse turn from other South American countries, seeing as how most other countries favored socialist ideals. The film does display a bit of socialist propaganda, but all in all realistically potrays the struggle of poor Cuban citizens. There was also a divide between classes in this film. It seems as though you simply had lower middle class, poor, and extremely poor (destitute). These people were living well below the means of survival and it did not seem to affect the Capitalist government officials. One can see this specifically when Pedro’s (the old farmer) land was sold without his consent. The land was taken and given to an American company for “the profit of Cuba”. Although economic prosperity is an ideal for every country, Cuba just seemed to do the dirtiest things to obtain it. Chasteen refers to Cuba on 249, as an expanding country, with an expanding economy. Land was continually being sold to American companies, but it was truly for the profit of America. Conditions in Cuba did not improve, and in fact seemed to be getting worse. These empty promises seem to fall short for its citizens. In fact, Chasteen dicusses how Americans worked the system so that Cuba could not prosper and remain inferior, “this kind of industrialization only reinforced the economic subordination of Latin America. (258).
The power of the wealthy is an extremely important point that this film makes. Wealthy Cuban and American men exhibited this power when they partied all night with Cuban prostitues and took advantage of the fact that they had no means of survival, other than their current professions. One man in particular tried to display his feelings of superiority when he went home with Maria aka (Betty). Not only were they busted in the act by Maria’s man, but he also forcefully bought/stole her rosesary because he keeps a collection. Fortunately he got what was coming to him when he becomes lost in the villages of Havanna and really confronted with the life of an Afro-Cuban. Chasteen describes these horrible conditions in is book. Stating that the homes were built on top of mounds of trash(265). Just like in American society, it seems that Afro-Cubans always get the lower hand. The conditions in which they live are way below the poverty line and they are always made a spectacle of. The business men glare at the women, as a form of entertainment and they are made to look like oversexed creatures, much like African-American women in our society. There is a struggle with cultural identity in Cuba, much like in America as Fuente points out (61). I find it interesting to view the parallels between America and Cuba. There is not much difference, underlying social aspects. Soy Cuba told the story of the revolution how it was. It shed light on the disgusting and gruesome fight for freedom. Point, blank, period.