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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to Cuban cinema

Moving images were first seen in Cuba at an exhibition of the Lumière Cinématographe in Havana on 15 January 1897; and in the following year US intervention in the Cuban War of Independence brought North American cameramen to the island to record the conflict on celluloid. Cuban film historians have suggested that the period before 1905 was one of ‘simple spectacle’ while the years between 1906 and 1918 saw the consolidation of cinema as a business, led at this point by European (and particularly Italian and French) entrepreneurs. But Cuba can boast at least one pioneering native-born filmmaker, the highly prolific Enrique Díaz Quesada, director, among numerous other films, of Manuel García o el rey de los campos de Cuba/Manuel García (1913). Cuba’s last silent film, La virgen de la Caridad/The Virgin of Charity (Ramón Peon) was made in 1930, while the country’s earliest feature-length sound film is thought to be La serpiente roja/The Red Serpent (Ernesto Caparrós, 1937). In this period, however, attempts to foster an enduring local production base were generally shortlived: for example, Estudios Péliculas Cubanas (PECUSA), founded in Havana in 1938, made only six films. The 1940s and 1950s saw a number of co-productions (including La rosa blanca/The White Rose (1954), directed by Mexico’s Emilio ‘El Indio’ Fernández), but these were essentially Mexican films, and it has been said that the most distinguished films made in Cuba before the 1959 revolution were Hollywood movies on location, with Cuba providing an exotic backdrop and tropical atmosphere for films featuring sultry female stars.   ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Cuba, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 16 Aug. 2022

Searching the online catalog

You can use the subject headings below to find resources on Cuban cinema in the online catalog. A call number range is also included.

    Introductory reading(s)

    Selected book titles

    Finding journal articles

    Although our collection does not include a journal title that looks exclusively at Cuban cinema, you can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.

    Selected movie titles

    Find more Cuban film titles in the library's online catalog.

    Internet resource(s)

    Keeping up with the journal literature

    Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for a national or regional cinema? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's you can download and read the articles you want.

    You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

    Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.