Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Studying Cuban History Through Film
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hour sessions
Seminars / Tutorials Individual 10-minute 'feedback tutorial' per written assignment submitted
Seminars / Tutorials Individual tutorials for essay and project planning


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x source analysis  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 5,000 word project  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x supplementary (resit) source analysis  20%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  20%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 5,000 word supplementary (resit) project  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate familiarity with the different ways that historians can use different types of film as historical sources.

Demonstrate an awareness of how to use these sources when examining political and social developments

Analyze and reflect critically on the relationship between the intentions of those who participated in creating these sources and their historical value.

Construct and sustain historical arguments orally (unassessed) and in writing (assessed)

work both independently and collaboratively and to participate in group discussions (not assessed)

Brief description

This module will evaluate feature and documentary films produced by Cuban film-makers as source material for the political and social history of Cuba since 1959. The selection of films emphasizes those which consider Cuban history (Soy Cuba, Lucia and Memorias del subdesarrollo), comment upon current social and political issues (Muerte de un burocrata, Retrato de Teresa, Hasta Cierto Punto, Se Permuta, Guantanamera, La Vida es Silbar, Suite Habana, Monte Rouge) or do both (Fresa y Chocolate). The module will seek to contextualize these sources by considering issues surrounding both their production (the role of the artist, the Cuban film institute and the Cuban government, the 1990s economic crisis and the search for outside funding) and their reception. Further contextualization will be achieved by examining other, more `traditional? sources for the study of Cuban political and social history.


In recent decades, historians have increasingly used visual sources such as film and television as a primary source material. This module will explore how historians can use Cuban feature and documentary films to examine the political and social history of Cuba since the 1959 revolution.


1. The Cuban revolution and cinema: the establishment of the Cuban film institute (ICAIC)
2. Revolutionary Cuba and the Soviet-Cuban nexus: Soy Cuba (1964)
3. The revolution as the completion of the Cuban independence movement: Lucia (1968)
4. The Cuban middle classes and their response to the revolution: Memorias del subdesarrollo (1968)
5. Bureaucracy in 1960s Cuba: Muerte de un burocrata (1966)
6. Cuban feminism and machismo: Retrato de Teresa (1979) and Hasta Cierto Punto (1983)
7. Class and society in 1980s Cuba: Se Permuta (1984)
8. Homosexuality and conformity in Cuba: Fresa y Chocolate (1993)
9. The Special Period in Cuba: Guantanamera (1995) and La Vida es Silbar (1998)
10. Contemporary Cuba: Suita Habana (2003) and Monte Rouge (2005)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Oral and written communication skills will be developed through seminars and feedback on written work. Literary skills will be assessed through written assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Written work will be returned in tutorials where advice will be given on improving students¿ research techniques and essay writing skills.
Information Technology Students will be required to locate primary and secondary source materials through library and on-line sources. Students will be encouraged to word-process their assessed work.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will help develop oral and written skills. Other activities, including research, assessment of information and writing in a clear manner, will further develop useful skills of analysis and presentation.
Problem solving Students will be required to locate and assess primary source materials. Assessed through written assignments.
Research skills Students will be required to carry out research for seminars and written work. The latter will be assessed though written assignments.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Students will work together in seminar preparation and discussion.


This module is at CQFW Level 6