You don't need to watch Fidel to realize that Fidel Castro was, and still is, a big man on the global campus: it's not just any stylishly bearded despot who could provoke the C.I.A. into (reportedly) plotting his assassination around the clock in the '60s and still count on getting a public thumbs-up 40 years later from Ted Turner. Captain Colorization is just one of the famous faces who pop up in this incongruously flattering, largely exclusionary portrait of the man whose fiercely socialist agenda left a stamp on the political topography of the late 20th century and has retained its potent force into the 21st.
Director Estela Bravo's thesis in this new documentary is that Castro, in addition to being an admirable private figure, was an earth-shaking force for positive revolutionary progress during the Cold War and beyond, and that his suspicion and hatred of American interests in Cuba was basically justified. She gathers together people like Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, Gabriel García Márquez and Jack Nicholson to lend her movie credibility.
Right. "Big man" as in big bully who's been killing his countrymen for nigh a half-century now. "Potent force"- sure- if you count making liberals fall on their knees and worship. if you count any real measure of influence, Cuba is a zilch. No money, no military might, no morals, no resources. Well, you could count selling plastic surgery vacations as "a force for positive change" in the lives of wealthy Europeans.
I've said it before- I will not go to Cuba on vacation until the country is free, as in "freedom", not "free education" (no drugs available without Dollars) and "free education" (indoctrination).
My basic litmus test for whether a nation deserves to be called a respectable nation: a citizen must be able to go to the town square and yell at the top of his lungs that the head of the government is a #$%^&* and not fear any consequences other than being looked at funny.
Cuba.... does not pass this test. No word in the review if the film covers the impact that Fidel's "fiercely socialist agenda [which left] a stamp on the political topography of the late 20th century and has retained its potent force into the 21st." has had on his domestic dissidents.