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Cuba: An African Odyssey (2007)

Director: Jihan El-Tahri
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Studio: Arte
Genre: Documentary, Foreign, Political & Social Issues, Latin America
Running Time: 190 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, German
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

From 1961 to 1991 (or roughly, the period encapsulating the Cold War), the continent of Africa experienced a complex and little-known history and fell prey to a variety of influences - some destructive, some constructive. On two negative notes, the United States lusted after (and aggressively sought to lay claim to) African natural resources, while the Soviet Union attempted to utilize African countries as potential breeding ground for Communism. At the same time, positive developments occurred: Western Europe began to lose its colonial grip on the continent, when such countries as Guinea-Bissau (led by Amilcar Cabral), Angola (led by António Agostinho Neto) and The Republic of the Congo (led by Patrice Lumumba and then Joseph Ileo) declared nationalist sentiments and established autonomy. Most intriguing, however, was the checkered relationship between Africa and the island nation of Communist Cuba; the said leaders often turned to Cuban guerillas, such as Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, for help defending their nascent independence - with immense efficacy. The documentary Cuba: An African Odyssey explores these unusual and seldom discussed transnational Afro-Cuban relationships, and reflects on the myriad of ways in which they laid the blueprint for an escape from the shadow of colonialism. ~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

An Important Documentary Missing an Important Element by Moonscream August 13, 2012 - 12:43 AM PDT
I'd rate this much higher if I could understand anyone other than the English speakers. The filmmakers severely neglected the translations: choosing a language only changes the voice of the narrator - ALL of the subtitles for everything else REMAIN in French, no matter what language you choose. And that's a CONSIDERABLE amount of spoken material the non-French speakers are left unable to understand.

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