Fidel Castro

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[edit] General Information

Biography Documentary published by PBS broadcasted as part of the PBS American Experience series in 2004 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: As-It-Happened-Fidel-Castro-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

"On January 3, 1959, a column of victorious young rebels advanced along Cuba's main highway towards Havana. At the head of the column rode 33-year-old Fidel Castro Ruz. As he went by, a Cuban peasant turned to an American journalist, and said: "There he goes, the hope of a people." Over the next few decades, by the force of his personality and the might of his Soviet benefactor, Castro turned himself and Cuba into significant players on the world stage. He did so while surviving the hostility of ten consecutive U.S. presidents, an invasion, several CIA assassination attempts and an economic embargo. Castro's face with its trademark beard, has become an iconic image worldwide, yet the man himself remains an enigma to all but a few. Through interviews with relatives, childhood friends, fellow rebel leaders, Bay of Pigs veterans, human rights activists and journalists, American Experience: Fidel Castro constructs an intimate and revealing portrait of the most resilient of leaders."

[edit] Part 1

This documentary begins with 1950s television footage of Fidel Castro's first moments as prime minister of Cuba. "At the age of 32," says a newsreader, "you now have in your hands a great deal of power and a great deal of responsibility. Aren't you a little frightened by this?" The vision switches to Castro, dressed unaccountably in pyjamas and sitting in a very feminine living room. He plumps a cushion and nods. "Not frightened because I have self-confidence."

This is a beautifully made documentary packed with rare archive footage and photographs. It shows Castro's childhood, his recklessness as a youth, his blossoming talents at the University of Havana and then his swift and complex ride to lawyer, jailbird, guerilla, politician and revolutionary. Adored and deplored, Castro's life makes compelling viewing.

[edit] Part 2

After the Bay of Pigs fiasco Fidel Castro consolidates his power in Cuba. He declares publicly that he's a Marxist Leninist, establishes very close relations with the Soviet Union, and begins to turn Cuba into a socialist state. However, in October 1962 the US realises Cuba has allowed the Soviets to build missile sites from which they could launch nuclear missiles into the U.S. This leads to a crisis that is considered the closest the world came to a nuclear war.

During the following 20 years Cuba becomes a prime example of a socialist state, with free education and free health services for its population. Castro provides military and logistic aid to various liberation movements, notably to the Angolan revolutionaries who were fighting the South Africans. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Cuban revolution experiences its worst economic crisis. The continued U.S. embargo isolates the country, but he and his regime manage to survive by diversifying into other non-traditional areas, and seeking foreign investment in areas such as tourism.

[edit] Screenshots

Image: As-It-Happened-Fidel-Castro-Screen0.jpg

[edit] Technical Specs

  • File Name ........... : PBS.American.Experience.Fidel.Castro.Part.1of2.DivX.ac3.avi
  • Total Size (MB) ... : 701.42 MB
  • Duration .............. : 00:54:43
  • Video Codec ....... : DivX 5.0 codec
  • Resolution .......... : 704 x 384
  • Aspect Ratio ....... : 1.83:1
  • Video Bitrate ...... : 1600 KB/s
  • Framerate .......... : 29.97 FPS
  • Quality Factor ..... : 0.197 B/px
  • Audio Codec ....... : FAST Multimedia AG DVM (Dolby AC3)
  • Audio Bitrate ...... : 192 KB/s
  • Channels ............ : 2 Ch
  • Sampling Rate .... : 48000 Hz
  • Ripped by ...........: ComeUpon, posted at the MVG Forum Tracker

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