There were no steadicams in 1964, no lightweight cameras or drone-cams. Perhaps that's why film lovers watching “Soy Cuba” for the first time get understandably excited by what has become known as the “hotel shot.” At the start of the film, a camera pans across the upper decks of a Havana hotel during a beauty contest, then descends straight down to the pool level as if held by ghostly hands. The camera pans across bathing beauties basking in lounge chairs, then actually goes underwater in the hotel pool.
That’s just one of several scenes garnering praise from audiences and critics alike. The film, a creative collaboration between the Cuban and Soviet governments, was a fabulous disaster as a propaganda film. After its premiere in Havana and Moscow, it was shelved for nearly three decades. “Soy Cuba” was brought to American audiences in the mid-90’s with the help of filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese, both of whom were blown away by its artistry.
The film gets a limited run at O Cinema Miami Beach starting today, Oct. 2. And we recently got a chance to talk to the film’s distributor, Dennis Doros of Milestone Films.
O Cinema Miami Beach
500 71st Street