Screening Cuba

Screening Cuba

Film Criticism as Political Performance During the Cold War

Book - 2010
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Hector Amaya advances into new territory in Latin American and U.S. cinema studies in this innovative analysis of the differing critical receptions of Cuban film in Cuba and the United States during the Cold War. Synthesizing film reviews, magazine articles, and other primary documents, Screening Cuba compares Cuban and U.S. reactions to four Cuban films: Memories of Underdevelopment, Lucia, One Way or Another, and Portrait of Teresa.
In examining cultural production through the lens of the Cold War, Amaya reveals how contrasting interpretations of Cuban and U.S. critics are the result of the political cultures in which they operated. While Cuban critics viewed the films as powerful symbols of the social promises of the Cuban revolution, liberal and leftist American critics found meaning in the films as representations of anti-establishment progressive values and Cold War discourses. By contrasting the hermeneutics of Cuban and U.S. culture, criticism, and citizenship, Amaya argues that critical receptions of political films constitute a kind of civic public behavior.

Book News
Offering comparative analysis of US and Cuban critical receptions of four Cuban films between 1968 and 1985--the films being Memories of Underdevelopment, Lucia, One Way or Another, and Portrait of Teresa--Amaya (media studies, U. of Virginia) analyzes film criticism as civic public behavior and a way of performing citizenship in response to the perceived "political film." On the Cuban side, he focuses on cultural workers from official cultural institutions, magazines, journals, and newspapers and on the US side, he focuses on cultural workers in centrist or leftist cultural institutions, magazines, journals, and newspapers. His central argument is that there is nothing random in the way that film reception relates to one's political identity, as he seeks to demonstrate by examining how different social and discursive traditions, sets of knowledge, and historical events shaped the critical reception of these four films as performances of discrete political identities. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2010
ISBN: 9780252077487
Branch Call Number: 791.43097 Am156s 2010
Characteristics: xxiii, 222 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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