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Gender in Cuban Cinema

From the Modern to the Postmodern


Guy Baron

A film institute was the first cultural institution to be created by the new Cuban revolutionary government in 1959. One of its aims was to create a new cinema to suit the needs of the Revolution in a climate of transformation and renewal. During the same period, issues of gender equality and gender relations became important as the Revolution attempted to eradicate some of the negative social tendencies of the past. Through the prism of the gender debate, Cuban cinema both reflected and shaped some of the central ideological concerns on the island at this time.
This book brings together these two extremely significant aspects of the Cuban revolutionary process by examining issues of gender and gender relations in six Cuban films produced between 1974 and 1990. Using close textual analysis and theoretical insights from feminism and postmodernism, the author argues that the portrayal of aspects of gender relations in Cuban cinema developed along a progressive path, from expressions of the modern to expressions of the postmodern.


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Acknowledgements vii


Acknowledgements I wish to thank, in the first instance, Dr Adam Sharman and Professor Antoni Kapcia, who guided me through the production of this work with unfailing commitment and intellectual rigour, at all times being available with advice and seemingly endless knowledge. Likewise I wish to express my thanks to the various institutions that made possible the development of this work: the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos that allowed me to research and watch films in their premises in Havana; the Federación de Mujeres Cubanas that provided me with valuable information, advice and interviews; the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies at the University of Nottingham, and the Cuba Research Forum based there, that both employed me for the duration of my research, and who provided me with funding to carry out research in Cuba and attend a number of national and international conferences, and who also provided a working space, stimulating for dialogue and debate, in which to work. I also wish to thank a number of individuals in Cuba for their wisdom and advice: Ambrosio Fornet for taking the time to be interviewed by me on two occasions, Julio García Espinosa for spending time with me at the Film School in San Antonio de los Baños and Reynier Abreu of the Instituto del Libro, Havana, for his time and ef fort. I would also like to thank the following individuals who, over the years, have contributed to the development of this...

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