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Home > Screenings > LOOKSfilm > The Cuba Libre Story

Director: Emmanuel Amara, Kai Christiansen, Florian Dedio

Producer: Regina Bouchehri, Alexandra Favard, Julia Musatova, Birgit Rasch, Olga Zatulkina

Executive Producer: Gunnar Dedio, Grégory Schnebelen, Frédéric Lepage, Igor Prokopenko

Writer: Emmanuel Amara, Kai Christiansen, Florian Dedio

Genres: Documentary, Factual


Cuba – the island where dreams clash. It was the gateway to the New World, the port of call for the American underworld, a crossroads for drug smuggling. It has brought us cigars, sugar and rum. And a Socialist revolution.

Cuba stands for schools for everybody and an eternal struggle for freedom. Cuba may seem synonymous with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, but its history was also shaped by adventurer Christopher Columbus, freedom fighter José Martí, Dictator Fulgenico Batista, Mafia boss Meyer Lansky and many others. “The Cuba Libre Story“ spans over 500 years of Cuban history and even takes a look at what might come after the Castros.

For this series, the Russian state film archives of Krasnogorsk, the Red Army and KGB’s film archives and the Cuban State Film Archive ICAIC have granted access to their Cuban treasures for the first time. All footage was newly scanned, digitally restored and remastered, incl. from the Spanish-American War of 1898, which was the first war in history ever to be filmed.

The series features over 50 exclusive interviews with the most important experts and eyewitnesses of Cuban history – both from within and outside the island. We bring together both followers and opponents of Fidel Castro and his predecessor Fulgencio Batista. We hear from Juan Antonio Rodriguez Menier, former chief of Castro’s secret service, and Nikolaï Leonov, head of the KGB in Latin America from 1953 onwards; from Marita Lorenz, Castro’s lover, and Carlos Calvo, Castro’s bodyguard. We talk to Cynthia Duncan, granddaughter of Maia boss Meyer Lansky, Leonardo Padura, Cuba’s most famous novelist, and Egon Krenz, East Germany’s last head of state and personal friend of the Castro brothers.

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