Cigarette dangling from his lips, rifle cocked at the hip, a G.I. poses over the corpse of a "liberated" Vietnamese. In Puerto Rico, another G.I. punches and kicks a dark-skinned man to the ground. In Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, the uniforms are different but the song remains the same. The eight films that constitute the first half of this double-disc set were all made for the Cuban newsreel, 1965 through 1973, and represent a tiny fraction of Álvarez's prodigious output (reckoned to be over 600 films). Che, Ho Chi Minh, Allende, LBJ—the subjects are staples, but the treatment is extraordinary. Self-taught and deprived of money, time, and often as not, raw footage, Álvarez fused the kind of cinema Lenin dreamed of: Eisenstein with a Latin beat. As a cutter, he's radical, inventive, mischievous, and dogmatic. "Give me two photos, music, and a Moviola," he said. "I'll... More >>>