The Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County will show the film “I Am Cuba” by Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 6 p.m. The screening, the fourth in the Cuba Film Series, will take place in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

“Soy Cuba,” or “I am Cuba,” was quickly pulled off the screens in both Cuba and the Soviet Union shortly after its release in 1964. The film slept in a Soviet archive until its first showing in the United States at a Telluride film festival in 1992, where its bold poetic tale and jaw-dropping cinematography stirred a cult following including director Martin Scorsese.

Dubbed Cuba-Soviet Propaganda by some reviewers, the film immerses viewers in pre-revolution Havana, an exotic playground for wealthy westerners. Then it switches to the sweat and toil of landless tenant farmers growing sugar cane, only to have the land sold to United Fruit Company. It documents a slice of unlikely history when, in the cities, students faced off against a harsh military, while peasants in the Sierra Maestra mountains joined ranks to win a final victory against the U.S.-backed Batista regime.

Released just three years after the Bay of Pigs, the Soviet/Cuban film team had just witnessed the lengths to which the powerful will go in defending what they think is theirs. The U.S.’s first and last overt attempt to take back “their” Cuba meant sending an armada, more than 5,000 Marines and soldiers along with brigade of CIA-trained Cuban exiles, escorted by seven U.S. Navy destroyers. As unlikely as the Cuban revolution was to be victorious, Castro’s forces defended itself although suffering more than 4,000 casualties.

The Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County hosts a monthly film highlighting timely topics of importance for a peaceful planet, followed by discussion. All are welcome; admission is free, with donations accepted. For more information, call 323-5160.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or