Yank Tanks

Carros Clasicos de Cuba

2002     1 x 70/46 min     Color: Digi Beta     Spanish w/ English Subtitles     46 min French version

A Blue Collar Films production

David Schendel

David & Stephen A. Schendel

Jean Kawahara

Best Documentary Prize at the Kinoglaz Film Festival/Russia

Official Selection: 2003 MOMA Documentary Fortnight, Montreal, Munich, and Havana Film Festivals, among others

Featuring the music of Chucho Valdes, Cachao, Julius Melendez, Orishas, and Cachait

Yank Tanks reveals the phenomenon of classic American cars of the 1950s that have survived in Cuba. Like an exotic, endangered species, these colorful cars – Caddies, Buicks, Hudsons – roam this island paradise, trapped in a time warp. The cars are beacons of individuality in a sea of government conformity. They represent freedom for their owners, who will do almost anything to keep them running. Cuban ingenuity and passion for these cars is inspiring. How have they maintained them over decades with no spare parts and an embargo by the United States? After numerous trips to Cuba, the Schendel brothers succeed in getting an insider’s look at the underground world of Cuban car owners, finding along the way a gallery of eccentric characters – the curators of the largest, living, automobile museum in the world.