Everyone knows the living legend of Fidel Castro and Cuba. Fifty years on from the revolution, they have seen the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and seemingly survived unscathed, much to the disappointment of their mighty northern neighbours.
With Fidel Whatever Happens is Serbian produced and so could legitimately claim to be an independent look at Cuban community [instead of something the good old US of A might suspect to be a piece of 'propaganda'] , a snapshot of life continuing much as it might anywhere.
From the man who can’t get his motorcycle to run properly, looking on helplessly as other townspeople happily sail past him on their bicycles, to the dentist endlessly waiting for a rickety bus to take him to work, we see a variety of different people quietly going about their everyday lives. Until the revolution anniversary and celebration of International Workers day, when calls of Viva Fidel, Viva Raul and Viva 50 years of revolution echo about the streets and makes the quiet calm seems a distant memory. Great hoards of people gather to celebrate the survival of a way of life and the people who died to preserve it. The celebration ends and it becomes quiet again, normal life commences.
With Fidel, Whatever Happens is an interesting slice of people-watching that doesn’t appear to comment on the way of life or politics, just shows us how it is. However, there is something big missing. It would have been nice to hear some opinions of the people we see going about their day, as it is you remain very removed from their lives.
Director Goran Radovanović might have wanted to produce a piece of living history but the little touches he did noticeably add seemed out of place and a bit awkward. Still, if you are interested in Cuba and Fidel you definitely could do worse than spend an hour watching this documentary.
Maryann has awarded With Fidel Whatever Happens two Torches of Truth.