Fidel: The Untold Story | Chicago Reader

Fidel: The Untold Story

Despite its subtitle, this unctuous 2001 documentary is an uncritical and unimaginative recitation of Castro's official biography, illustrated with archival photo-op footage and filled out with admiring commentary from Alice Walker, Sydney Pollack, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, among others. Writer-director Estela Bravo, a former New Yorker who's lived in Havana since 1966, claims she had special access to Castro, but you'd never guess it from her superficial sound bites. Though Bravo shows Castro being embraced by Nelson Mandela, she fails to make her case that he remains a world leader, rather than just a peculiar fixation of American foreign policy. The film has its scattered charms, but it's less insightful than two documentaries predicated on their lack of access: Michael Rubbo's Waiting for Fidel (1974) and Wilfried Huismann's Dear Fidel: Marita's Story (2001). In English and subtitled Spanish. 91 min.

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