Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov
The movie consists of four distinct short stories about the suffering of the Cuban people and their reactions, varying from passive amazement in the first, to a guerrilla march in the last. Between the stories, a female narrator (credited "The Voice Of Cuba") says such things as, "I am Cuba, the Cuba of the casinos, but also of the people."
The first story (centered on the character Maria) shows the destitute Cuban masses contrasted with the splendor in the American-run gambling casinos and prostitution in Havana. The next story is about a farmer, Pedro, burning his sugar cane when he learns he is going to lose his land to United Fruit. The third story describes the suppression of rebellious students led by a character named Enrique at Havana University (featuring one of the longest camera shots). The final part shows how Mariano, a typical farmer, ends up joining the rebels in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, ultimately leading to triumphal march into Havana to proclaim the revolution.