Two classic cold war to arms documentary films produced by the noted anti-Castro outfit INCA (the Information Council of the Americas), exemplify a now largely forgotten genre, the anti-communist agit-prop of the Cold War. Urgency and alarmism combine with hard-hitting exposure in these films, providing an immediate, raw look at a turbulent time.
HITLER IN HAVANA:
This classic Cold War call-to-arms portrays Castro's Cuba as a clear and present danger to the United States. Drawing ominous parallels between Castro and Hitler, the film shows Cuba as a nation of concentration camps and firing squads, hell-bent on foreign expansion and communist subversion. Produced by the anti-communist organization INCA (Informational Council of the Americas), distributed to southern television markets in the mid-1960s, "Hitler in Havana" spotlights the growing threat of communism throughout the Americas, warning that "World War III may be fought in New Orleans and New York, not Normandy and Naples." But this is more than an alarmist period piece: the film offers rare and unique footage from the early days of Castro's regime, smuggled into the United States by anti-Castro refugees, including scenes from the Bay of Pigs invasion and its aftermath. USA, 1966, B&W, 54 minutes.
OSWALD: SELF PORTRAIT
Before gaining notoriety as John Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald had already become a lightning rod for controversy in his native New Orleans. This short stresses Oswald's professed belief in Marxism, his brief stay in the Soviet Union, and his return to New Orleans as spokesman for the pro-Castro "Fair Play for Cuba Committee." Prominently featured here, as Oswald's chief nemesis, is New Orleans' noted anti-communist crusader Ed Butler (of the Information Council of the Americas), who confronted Oswald on New Orleans radio only three months before the Kennedy assassination. Butler recreates his part of this debate for the camera; the audio track is the actual radio program itself, in which Oswald explains his political views and Marxist convictions. A fascinating time capsule from a turbulent time, Oswald: Self Portrait poses questions about Oswald that remain unanswered. USA, 1965, B&W, 24 minutes.
Two films on one DVD, total running time: 78 minutes.
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)