The Illusion of Equality: Machismo and Cuban Cinema of the Revolution

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This article attempts to show how certain Cuban films both reflect and construct behaviour concerning male–female relations. In so doing, they illustrate how Cuban cinema provided a mainstream cultural forum for controversial and contradictory debates on gender relations. At times, films that attempt to produce images of gender equality, or at least the possibility of this, merely provide the illusion of equality while maintaining the status quo of patriarchy. That is, the images they present of male–female relations appear on the surface to represent an increasing desire to achieve absolute equality between men and women. However, close analysis of these films, using various tools of feminist and feminist film theory, reveals a continuation of certain patriarchal tendencies that the films themselves are attempting to criticise. The films to be discussed are: De cierta manera (Sara Gómez, 1974–1978), Retrato de Teresa (Pastor Vega, 1979) and Hasta cierto punto (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1983).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-366
JournalBulletin of Latin American Research
Issue number3
Early online date01 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • cinema
  • Cuba
  • feminism
  • revolution
  • women


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