Scene from I Am Cuba,
captured by surf-n-turf
I’ve mentioned the visually stunning 1964 propaganda film I Am Cuba a couple times here on Humu Kon Tiki, and now you can see it for yourself. It’s been available from Netflix for some time, but now the companion documentary about the making of the film is available, too, and both films are reportedly available from Comcast’s OnDemand download service for digital cable subscribers. There are a few screenshots on Tiki Central of the tiki bar scenes, courtesy of surf-n-turf. A peek at this fantastic film has also been put up onto YouTube, including the legendary opening sequence at a midcentury-modern hotel, and severals scenes that take place in a tiki bar. The Havana Trader Vic’s is almost certainly what’s being nodded to in these scenes, and the decor used was likely borrowed from there for use in staging the set — the restaurant by that time had become the government-run El Polinesio, which is still operating today, and is said to still have much of the decor. Special thanks to Mr. Bali Hai for the YouTube heads-up and link collection.