The film examines the ways the American-backed regime under Bautista affected individual Cubans. The oppressors here are the United Fruit Company, the men of the US Navy, American backed industrialists and military strongmen. The victims are tenant farmer families, poor women and men, as well as young revolutionary students. Instead of analyzing political situations, the film seeks to provide some very emotional human-interest stories. What makes Cuba special, the film suggests, is the ordinary common man and woman who face adversity with courage, hope, desperation and endurance. This is the essence of a people's revolution.
The film is shot in the starkest of Black and White. It's absolutely some of the best cinematography I have ever seen. Of course it is melodramatic, that's what makes it work as propaganda...But the sense and skill of the director elevates this propaganda to the realm of art...This documentary presents images of decadence, insensitivity and callousness. It's 2 hours and 20 minutes of amazingly moving and powerful filmmaking.