I am Cuba
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The issue of the description of human mentality is considered to be one of the most difficult in the cinematography. Many directors tried to describe every aspect of the mentioned problem. Nevertheless, not everyone is able to do it perfectly. Mikhail Kalatozov is a bright example of a director who got very successful in depicting the mentality of Cuba. He managed to illustrate each sphere of Cuban life. Furthermore, he depicted the real life of common people.
Mikhail Kalatozov represented the basic types of people’s lives in the movie. The first episode is connected with a description of the working class. It illustrates the beauty of a country including its marvelous nature and breathtaking landmarks. Nevertheless, the opening sequence is accompanied by woman’s voice that describes country’s beauty as well as suffering. The last episode is about sugar. It is worth mentioning, that sugar was considered to be an integral part of Cuba. It was the initial resource of the country. However, international interest in sugar has caused not only prosperity, but also misery of the society. That is why the director decided to use woman’s voice to make the viewers aware of the reality of a working class in Cuba. The reason of their misery was that people produced sugar for a very small payment. That is why many citizens suffered from poverty. The director wanted to emphasize this problem.
Despite depicting life of the working class, Mikhail demonstrated life of the rich ones. The proceeding episode is the illustration of the beauty contest. It takes place in the luxurious building where celebrities as well as rich people have a rest. The main picture is an easygoing pace of lifeof the rich. Consequently, the director makes an opposition by showing the two different worlds of the working and rich classes. Furthermore, he aims to depict the fact that the poverty of a working class is of no interest to the rich ones. It seems that the country is divided into two parts which exist separately. Despite the episode about a beauty contest, the next one depicts the life of a dancer. She wants to become rich and have all the necessary items for success. That is why she agrees to show her house to the strangers. After the night spent with a man, the dancer is presented a priceless necklace. She thought that her life would change, but she was wrong. The man gives her a present and says “Good-bye”. This episode has deeply ingrained in my consciousness. The reason is that the film shows not only the reality of Cuba, but the contemporary reality in general. Nowadays, a lot of girls are ready to spend the nights with rich men in order to get money. It seems that the mentality of people has not changed at all. This problem is considered to be relevant even today.
Taking into account the whole film, one can state that every episode reveals not only the life of Cuban people, but also the reality of every working class. The bright example is an episode about a farmer. The farmer has worked hard at his cane field. Consequently, the land thanks him and gives a great harvest. However, the landlord seeing the future prosperity of the field asks the farmer to leave the territory as soon as possible. The farmer is in despair and thus, burns the field. As a result, he destroys the land and kills himself as well. The film raises the important issue of the relations between landlords and tenants. Historically, landlords tried to reduce the rights off the tenants. That is why, they usually bullied them and took away their property. One could say that the director manages to show how people have suffered throughout the history.
Description of the important problems in Cuba is not the only thing that grabs my attention. The most remarkable aspect is the usage of different cinematographic techniques in the film. The bright example is the shot made under the water. It was the first black and white movie that was able to illustrate the shots in the water. Furthermore, there is a great usage of Steadicam in the movie. The smooth transition from one episode to another is achieved through the usage of cinematographic techniques. Nevertheless, the greatest attention is paid to the sense of the movie rather than to its techniques. It is quite understandable since the movie raises such problems as poverty, misery, richness, relationships and human mentality. Every problem is depicted in every aspect. One should admit that the main objective of Mikhail was to convey the sufferings of Cuba and its reality as well.
To sum up, the film I am Cuba is considered to be a masterpiece of Russian cinematography. Mikhail Kalatozov is the main director of the movie. He manages to illustrate the reality of Cuba along with its problems. The director wanted to depict such problems as poverty, richness and relation among native inhabitants. Furthermore, he tries to convey an episode where people show their personal preferences in certain issues such as love, craft and civic position. The movie has gained a wide popularity throughout the world. The reason is quite obvious: by illustrating the common life of Cuba, the movie shows the real life of all people in the contemporary world.
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