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Showing posts from November, 2016

Castro: El Comandante, El Comediante -- a VIDEO ESSAY on American mainstream media's depiction of a revolutionary

Fidel Castro passed away over Thanksgiving break. Castro, without question one of the towering figures of the 20th century, was a politician, a revolutionary, a prime minister and the president of Cuba. His story, his influence, his polarizing presence and his impact on history is--as the kids would say--"epic." And yet, when I finally learned of his passing over this past weekend, an unnerving realization hit me: American mainstream media didn't really do him justice.

Normally, when such an impressive person from the political or pop culture stratosphere passes away, I tend to seek out richer writings on the person and in most cases, a thorough film or biopic exploring his or her legacy. Strangely, in Castro's case, outside of some documentaries, the American cinema never bothered making a film solely about Castro; his most memorable silver screen portrayals were in the really awful Che! from 1969 and in the exceptional and stirring Che from 2008. But look at those …