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The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution

The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution(1959)

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NOTES

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No contemporary documentation for this film has been located, and the release year of 1959 has not been confirmed. However, internal information within the film suggests that it was assembled or completed circa 1959. The viewed print was titled The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution [sic], but the film was released on DVD as Cuban Story on April 30, 2002. Although the opening credits indicate that Fenix Producciones, S.A. copyrighted the film in Cuba, the film is not registered for copyright in the United States. In addition, opening credits are accompanied by an unidentified song.
       The following information derives from modern sources, including added content on the viewed DVD print, which featured an introduction by Victor Pahlen's daughter Kyra: According to Pahlen, Flynn became friends with her father, who owned a casino and was writer-producer of the 1950 United Artists film Time Running Out (see below), while living in Cuba. Together, Victor Pahlen and Flynn shot scenes of the revolution as it occurred. Flynn met with Castro in November 1958. After returning to the U.S. in 1959, Flynn publicized his involvement with Castro's army, but did not refer to this documentary. Although Victor Pahlen hoped to show the film in the U.S., the eroding relationship between the U.S. and Cuba precluded an American release.
       Further information in the DVD indicates that the film was exhibited at the Moscow Film Festival, but it is not included in the list of films participating in the 1959 competition. The film remained undiscovered at Rank Laboratories until almost fifty years later. Although modern sources suggest that The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution May bear some connection to Flynn's 1960 drama Cuban Rebel Girls, which was also made in Cuba, neither film appears to share footage. It is likely, however, that they were shot around the same time. Flynn made another film in Cuba, The Big Boodle (1957, ) but that also is unrelated to The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution.
       The documentary follows a loose history of the background of the Cuban revolution. Fulgencio Batista overthrew the Cuban government in 1952. In 1953, revolutionary leader Fidel Castro led an unsuccessful rebellion against Batista and was arrested. After his release in 1955, Castro led the 26th of July movement and returned to Cuba in 1956, where he allied with Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Together they launched guerrilla attacks and eventually overthrew Batista in 1959.