Winner of the "Golden Dove" at the 1966 DOK Leipzig.
Though lesser known than Leni Riefenstahl’s OLYMPIA or Kon Ichikawa’s TOKYO OLYMPIAD, Santiago Alvarez’s tribute to Cuba’s sporting triumphs is no less breathtaking. A ship of athletes training on the rough seas becomes a symbol of Castro’s Cuba, the games projected on the backdrop of political struggle: “This is the story of a ship and of a sports delegation whom the ENEMY tried to stop from participating in the Tenth Central American and Caribbean Games.” Alvarez’s bristling montage may be put to didactic ends but there’s a significant remainder of joy in his celebration of work. Rhetoric is inseparable from rhythm as Alvarez remains ever attentive to the specific manifestations of the body politic.
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A documentary of the time reflecting many facets of what was happening yet it also depicted the beauty and heart of the Cuban athletes and their determination to participate and win!