*½/**** Image B- Sound B
starring Victor Huggo Martin, Gael Garcia Bernal, Patricia Velasquez, Cecilia Suarez
screenplay by Stephen Tolkin, based on the books Guerrilla Prince by Georgie Anne Geyer and Fidel Castro by Robert E. Quirk
directed by David Attwood
by Walter Chaw Fidel is a very long, frustrating, exculpatory biopic of Cuba's dictator that, in its near-fanatical dedication to even-handedness, provides a piece devoid of a moral compass. In certain instances, pacifism implies an endorsement of one side and director David Attwood is certainly guilty of not taking a stand on one of the most controversial, inflammatory, murderous, megalomaniacal, and charismatic figures in modern history. Beginning, intriguingly, in 1949 with a young Castro (Victor Huggo Martin) as a clean-shaven lawyer incensed by certain acts of vandalism perpetrated by the American Navy in Havana, the film promises to draw an interesting connection to Gandhi's legal background and, most fascinatingly, the starkly different ways these two revolutionary leaders conduct their rebellions (and to what eventual purposes).