Fidel Castro: An Unauthorized Biography

45 min. Dreamscape. 2018. $24.99. ISBN 818506023191.
Gr 8 Up—Fidel Castro was an influential historical figure who, as a communist, took over Cuba through guerrilla warfare and then became president until his death in November 2016. He leaves behind a polarized legacy; he is either admired for his revolutionary social and economic agenda or despised for his dictatorial actions. Either way, Castro's life affected the U.S. political climate and culture. This documentary showcases his life, from birth to death, using photographs and films with narration laid over, but it is poorly made. Dated text graphics litter the film as they haphazardly are placed over photographs, with some even cut off. There is little finesse as far as the narrator is concerned; he rushes through facts with little or no tone to keep viewers interested. The photographs used are often repeated and appear to be pixelated. Cuba is renowned for its music, yet the background music used here is cheap smooth jazz and electronic drums. One of the worst offenses is that Spanish words aren't pronounced with a Spanish accent at all and are often mispronounced.
VERDICT There are too many things wrong with this documentary to recommend its purchase.

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