The image of Cuba in Soviet and American Cold War cinema

Volume 5, Number 4, 2020, P. 533–540


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The article presents the results of the analysis of video images of Cuba in Soviet and American cinema during the Cold War. After the revolution of 1953-1959, Cuba acquired not only strategic but also symbolic significance for the United States and the USSR, which led to increased interest in the Cuban theme in popular culture in general and cinema in particular. The materials for the study were Soviet and American feature films made in the period 1945-1991. The study employed continuous sampling method. This work aims to analyze the peculiarities of Cuba’s representation in Soviet and American Cold War cinema. The study showed that images of Cuba in Soviet and American cinema are engaged in the creation of the enemy image by objectifying Cuba, depicting it as an arena of confrontation between two superpowers. Images of Cuba in American and Soviet cinema perform similar functions: they are attracted to show the moral superiority of a particular social structure. However, the images of Cuba in American cinema are very diverse, which is due to the pluralism of the American culture of the period under review. The images of Cuba constructed in Soviet cinema are characterized by a simplified, stereotypical vision, due to both the presence of a dominant ideology and the lack of a long history of intercultural communication. The notions “Cuba” and “the Cuban” are meaningful for bothSoviet and American culture. Whereas the Soviet cinema often emphasizes the similarity of the position of a Soviet andCuban person, American one emphasizes the superiority of Americans over Cubans.


Cuba, enemy image, Cold War, cinema, Soviet cinema, American cinema, Russian-American relationship


Liudmila L. Kleshchenko, Cand. Sci. (Political Science), grant contractor, Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia


This article is financially supported by the Russian Science Foundation, grant 18–18–00233 “Cinematographic Images of the Soviet and American Enemies in the Symbolic Politics of the Cold War: Comparative Analysis”.

For citation:

Kleshchenko L.L. (2020) The image of Cuba in Soviet and American Cold War cinema. Sotsial’naya kompetentnost’ = Social Competence. Vol. 5. No. 4. P. 533–540. (In Russ.)


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