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Hollywood in HavanaUS Cinema and Revolutionary Nationalism in Cuba before 1959$
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Megan Feeney

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226593555

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226593722.001.0001

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The Show Goes On: Hollywood in Havana after 1958

The Show Goes On: Hollywood in Havana after 1958

(p.233) Epilogue The Show Goes On: Hollywood in Havana after 1958
Hollywood in Havana

Megan Feeney

University of Chicago Press

This brief epilogue traces film business and critical reception practices in Havana into the first years of the Revolutionary Government, as indices of rapidly deteriorating US-Cuban relations that nonetheless point to historical continuity rather than a complete break from the past. Because the Revolutionary Government recognized the cinema’s profound influence on the Cuban public, the first cultural institution it formed was the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC). Headed by many of the Cuban intellectuals previously introduced in Hollywood in Havana, ICAIC set out not only to build Cubans’ capacity to produce films (to displace the Hollywood films that monopolized in previous decades), but also to continue to shape Cuban ways of consuming the Hollywood films that audiences continued to demand, even after the implementation of the US trade embargo, the expropriation of Hollywood’s distribution offices, the nationalization of Cuba’s cinemas, and ICAIC’s attempts to promote socialist cinema. Even to this day, ICAIC and other cultural arbiters work to instruct Cuban audiences in how to watch the Hollywood films they love (from old classics broadcast on state television to pirated versions of the latest neo-noirs shown in state cinemas) in ways that support anti-imperialist revolutionary Cuban nationalism.

Keywords:   Por primera vez, ICAIC (Cuban Film Institute), film business, expropriation, embargo, nationalization, anti-Americanism, Hollywood, Charles Chaplin, Cuban Revolution

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