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Deconstructing the documentary "Nuestra Haydee" (Esther Barroso, 2015): the political action's representation of a Cuban Revolution's heroine

Grant number: 19/08431-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of America
Principal researcher:Mariana Martins Villaça
Grantee:Carolina de Azevedo Müller
Home Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


This research intends to analyze the Cuban documentary "Nuestra Haydée" (2015), produced by Casa de las Américas and Cubavisión Internacional, with script and direction of the journalist and filmmaker Esther Barroso (1968-). This documentary talks about the life of the Cuban Haydée Santamaría (1922-80), guerrilla from Movimiento 26 de Julio (movement which actions led to the Revolution in 1959) and president of the important cultural institution Casa de las Américas, from 1959 to 1980, year she committed suicide. After her emblematic death, Haydée's process of mythicizing by the Cuban official memory has began, on which we believe that the documentary "Nuestra Haydée" is related to. This mythicizing emphasized, at Cuban media, representations of femininity and personal sacrifice, pointing out to Haydée's "maternal" posture in charge of Casa de las Américas direction and minimizing her political action and possible differences about the cultural policies assumed by the government. This documentary is one of the official productions that intend to disseminate internationally, by the audiovisual language and internet networks, in a heroical tone, the political trajetory of Haydée and the Cuban's Revolution celebration. We intend to comprehend the process of the documentary's production, analyzing the way it was done and the speech of Haydée's life and the revolutionary process. We start from the hyphotesis that this documentary presents, by the audiovisual language, a historical evaluation of Haydée's role as a guerrilla and leader, in the context of the institutionalization's process of the Cuban's Revolution, it does not exempt the ambiguities and silence. We also intend to comprehend and question the notions of gender in the documentary, considering, as well, that it was produced by a female director. And that there is also a tradition of national movies about the role of women in Revolution, in Cuba. At last, we also want to investigate the impact of the documentary in Cuba and its reception abroad. (AU)

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