Not Child’s Play: Tactics, Strategies, and Heterotopias

  • Dunja FehimovićEmail author


This chapter combines formal analysis with a consideration of filmmaking as practice in contemporary Cuba by examining production, reception, and distribution. Taking two films that feature child protagonists—a new development in the island’s cinema—this chapter argues that the hearts, kites, and child’s play of both Habanastation (Ian Padrón 2011) and Viva Cuba (Juan Carlos Cremata 2005) screen fears about the nation, its elusive origin, and uncertain future. The overdetermined children who move through the directors’ very deliberate depictions of city and national space conceal and reveal a central anxiety expressed through a combination of ‘banal’ and ‘hot’ nationalism (Billig 1995). Considering filmmaking as a field of limited resources (Bourdieu) and using de Certeau’s distinction between ‘tactics’ and ‘strategies’, this analysis also highlights how the directors use figures associated with universality, affect, and the apolitical in order to juggle national acceptance and international marketability.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Modern LanguagesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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