Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Hollywood in HavanaUS Cinema and Revolutionary Nationalism in Cuba before 1959$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Megan Feeney

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226593555

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226593722.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Teaching Eyes to See: The Advent of Cuban Film Criticism, 1928–1934

Teaching Eyes to See: The Advent of Cuban Film Criticism, 1928–1934

(p.49) 2 Teaching Eyes to See: The Advent of Cuban Film Criticism, 1928–1934
Hollywood in Havana

Megan Feeney

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the beginnings of film criticism in Havana at the intersection of a political revolution in Cuba (to overthrow dictator Gerardo Machado and the Platt Amendment) and a technological revolution in Hollywood (the rise of sound cinema). A cohort of Havana intellectuals, known as the minoristas, adopted film criticism as a political modality to denounce Machado’s dictatorship and US imperial hegemony. They used Hollywood films as evidence of the ills of US society and culture (e.g., materialism, greed, anti-Hispanic racism) even as they began to identify allies in leftist filmmakers like Charles Chaplin. At the same time, they pointed to Hollywood business practices as concrete evidence that US imperial hegemony in Cuba amounted to exploitation rather than opportunity and to underdevelopment rather than progress. In other words, it was in this period that Cuban film critics began to model engagement with Hollywood characterized by the simultaneous denunciation of its general practices and appropriation of its most socially critical films toward the construction and mobilization of revolutionary Cuban nationalism. The chapter ends with the 1933 Cuban revolution (which overthrew Machado and the Platt Amendment) and with Hollywood and the Havana film business community in dire straits.

Keywords:   Cuban intellectuals, 1933 Cuban Revolution, sound cinema, film criticism, Charles Chaplin, Gerardo Machado, Platt Amendment, anti-imperialism, dictator, José Manuel Valdés-Rodríguez

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.