Fidel Castro Adriana Bosch

A PBS documentary on the "genius or juvenile delinquent" who either heroically challenged American imperialism or doomed his country to charismatic dictatorship, depending on which side you're talking to. Director Adriana Bosch knows which side she's on: her Castro is an oblivious schmuck who's more interested in fomenting revolution worldwide than in actually dealing with the economic problems of his country, and to be fair she makes a good case. His opposition to the Batista regime (and unstable Cuban leadership in general) is of course unassailable, as are his commitments to feeding, educating and easing the cost of living for peasants and workers, but there's no getting around his failure to turn over the reins to democratic elections and his distracted and unsuccessful efforts to rouse his country's economy. Though it's probably a necessary corrective to those who regard him as a relatively benign ruler, its piling on of failure after failure never really does penetrate the enigma of how he's managed to hang on longer than any other ruler in the twentieth century. It addresses neither the PR wizardry that safeguards his image nor the true mechanism of his inner circle, and doesn't have a theory as to how he survived the collapse of the Soviet Union when it was his country's only guaranteed meal ticket. Still, it's hardly a far-right rant, though its bias is naked and unabashed. Special features include an interview with the director (the daughter of Cubans who supported and were subsequently disillusioned by her subject), and a few minutes of interview clips that didn't make the cut. (PBS/Paramount)