Cuba, a country in the Caribbean, has a vast history and when the revolution began, the people began to speak out, and their leader, Fidel Castro was the man they all looked up to. Being a political leader, not everyone liked what he was doing in the country, especially outside their borders within the United States of America. Riots and pickets starting on his visits to New York but the people of Cuba adored him. He changed the country and the people living there.
Cuba & The Cameraman follows journalist, Jon Alpert around the country of Cuba and looking into how the country has changed over 40 years. He builds relationships with the people and revisits them each time he goes back to Cuba. From the cautious optimism of the early 1970s to the harrowing 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union and the 2016 death of Fidel Castro, Jon Alpert records it all. He shares this unique and personal documentation to show the state that the country is in. Sharing his versions of events by following specific individuals he meets on the way.
Jon Alpert plays the most lovable and genuine journalist. A journalist that spreads real stories and shows the truth. He makes you a part of the documentary. Especially as he’s the cameraman as well as the main character, his point of view makes you feel although you are interacting with everyone as well as he is. You become invested and you bond with each person he meets, you want to know how they are as much as Jon wants to know how they are. Jon revisited Gregorio and his brothers over the course of the documentary, going back to their farm in rural Cuba. These were personally my favorites, they were related and humorous, a family you would happily interact with. There were others within the film but I had more of an emotional connection with these individuals, I smiled, I laughed and I even nearly cried.
Aside from the public, he managed to gain multiple visits to see Fidel Castro himself. From the beginning of his reign to his saddened death, Jon bonded with Fidel and showed a side to a political leader in which no one has seen before. News outlets were begging for the footage Jon captured but he kept that for this project. What you think is a serious, uptight leader when you view him on his political formats, he’s betrayed in this documentary as a down to earth human, approachable and wise. I don’t know a lot about the history of Cuba and it’s leaders but from what Jon was trying to portray is that not everyone is so serious when you get to know them for who they are.
Cuba has changed so much over the years and Jon’s documentary shows this. With his love for a country so strong, he wants to see the people strive and do better as a community. It’s fascinating to see the change over time and go in-depth into individuals backgrounds, showing how the country operates and how Fidel’s actions are turning out. Nothing but love is shared for a country which has always had strength.