Picks and Pans Review: Castro's Cuba: Two Views

updated 08/13/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/13/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

PBS (Wed., Aug. 8, 9 P.M. ET)

Grade (averaged for both): B+

Is Castro a man of the people or a vicious despot? Two decidedly different documentaries, The Uncompromising Revolution (featuring man-on-the-street interviews with Cuban people singing Castro's praises) and Nobody Listened (which indicts the Cuban leader on a host of charges, including human rights violations), address the question, though it appears each was filmed to prove a point, not to get at any objective truth.

The pro-Castro report, produced by Saul Landau, is the more cerebral. Fidel is interviewed discussing freedom, Central America and Cuban dependency on the U.S.S.R. One Castro supporter, a former store owner, movingly talks about how he made six times more money before the revolution but how, all in all, he "has more now."

The other documentary was produced by Cuban exiles Nestor Almendros and Jorge Ulla. Former political prisoners and ex-Castro associates are interviewed, many detailing horrors they witnessed or experienced. On points, whatever your political bent, Nobody Listened is more likely to stay with you.

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