The normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba this week opens some obvious doors – some are surely counting down the days until legal cigar imports – but it also offers an appropriate moment to revisit cultural history we may have ignored intentionally or otherwise. Post-revolutionary Cuban films are sometimes left out of world cinema discussions.
A great place to start that discussion is I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba), a visually stunning work depicting pre-revolutionary Cuba and the spirit of its people, including the country’s early cultural tensions with the United States. I Am Cuba was nearly forgotten and languished in Soviet archives for decades before its found new popularity for its striking camerawork and themes. In an almost-too-perfect programming coincidence, the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring will be screening I Am Cuba tomorrow, July 24th, at 4:30pm, with repeat screenings on Sunday and Monday.
Historically, culturally, and artistically, this is a tremendous and once-again relevant film. If you can’t catch it this weekend, you can always borrow our copy from the AU Library (HU DVD 331)