This paper will comprise of a comparative analysis of the
media system of Cuba and India. The main focus of this essay will be on cinema
of both Cuba and India. The paper will contain detailed information on how the
films in Cuba are different to that of India. It would also provide a core
reasoning on why films in India famously known as Bollywood always have music
and dance in them and why Cuban cinema does not have that. This paper will be
in the order of Background, Media and Cinema comparison between the two
Cuba is the
largest of islands in the Caribbean Sea. It is located close to 90 miles from
the tip of Florida. This country has always been of a prime interest mainly to
the United States because of its closeness to it. The climate experienced in
Cuba is the tropical type of climate which is most suitable for agriculture.
Spanish is the language that is spoken by majority of its population. The main
commercial hub of Cuba is its capital, Havana. ‘El Cocodrilo’ is a term that
Cuba is often addressed to mainly because of the islands aerial view. Cuba is
famous for its food, dance and most famous for cigars.
Cuban Cigars are famous all over the world.
They play an adverse role in the country’s economy including the culture of
Cuba. They are known to be the best kind of cigars all over the world. The main
reason for this is the tobacco that has been growing in Cuba for hundreds of
years and the same tobacco has been used to make the cigar. These cigars are
handmade and they also contain the flavors of the soil in which the tobacco is
grown, giving it a whole new flavor. This makes it even more special.
Salsa is one of the most famous dances in
Cuba. Cuban dances are very passionate and they are famous all over the world
as well. It is also very unique and requires a lot of movement in accordance to
the music that is played with it. Cubans not only dance for the enjoyment of
dancing but it is also a way they express their culture and heritage
respectively. A lot of Cuban music has got its influence from Spanish as well
as the African beats.
A country which is located in the south of Asia is India.
The capital of India is New Delhi. There are a total of 29 states and 7 union
territories in India. The name ‘India’ was given from the river Indus. There
are a variety of climates in India based on the different regions. However, the
main climate of India is tropical. The only exception are the states of
Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Jammu and Kashmir that experience the cooler type
of climate due to its elevation. Hindi as well as English are the official main
languages of India.
main religions in India are Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. These are
the main religions however Christianity is also been practiced by a lot of
people. India is very famous for its culture and has a lot of diversity. There
are many cultures that are followed in India from the north region to the south
region and to the east region to the west region. The various languages, dance
forms, music type as well as the customs that are followed by the people are very
different from one another depending on the based region.
India is the second most populated country in the world
after China. Indians make up for more than one – seventh of the population of
the world. The most widely spread sport that is played in India is cricket.
Majority of the Indians watch cricket matches on their television and are
really fond of it. Kids from the age of 5 are taught how to play this sport,
that how much people love it.
Dance is a huge and rich part of the Indian cultural heritage.
India is very famous for its classical dance. The 5 most famous classical dance
types in India are Bharat Natyam, Kathakali, Manipuri, Kathakali and lastly
Moiniattam. Out of these Bharat Natyam is the most widely learnt dance form.
Girls from their early ages are forced to learn this dance form as it’s been
such a huge cultural standing of India.
Media in Cuba
According to Spicer (1981), “Today’s Cuban mass media is organized
under Marxist Leninist principles. All of the mass communication are owned and
operated by and are in the service of the government and the party (p.6). This
is entirely true. All media in the Republic of Cuba are highly censored and
controlled by the state. All the journalist are supposed to abide by the laws
by the government when it comes to the media. Different divisions of the
government have a type of high administrative power to the entire mass media of
the country. The citizens have no control of the media.
In Cuba, private ownership of any kind of media is restricted as
all of the media is owned by the government. The media in Cuba are of different
kinds. The four major types of media in Cuba is the press, the television, the
radio and the internet. The entire press setting in Cuba is one of the most
complex ones in the world due to the control of the government and has the most
limitations compared to other Latin American countries. Cuba is not entitled to
the freedom of expression or even the freedom of press due to the entire power
of the state.
Journalism is one of the most dangerous professions in the
Republic of Cuba. The government of Cuba really does torture and suppress voices
of the journalists by threatening and intimidating them by detainment. Some of
the journalists are also arrested and sometimes even fired due to their opinions
on politics. Granma and Juventud Rebelde two of the daily newspapers that are
published in Cuba. Granma is the most famous newspaper in Havana which is the
capital city and it is led by the Communist party of Cuba. The name ‘Granma’
comes from the yacht that carried Fidel Castro. This newspaper was made in the
year of 1965 by combining two other newspapers.
Internet as well as an access to the internet in the world is very
limited in Cuba. However, Cuba has a lot of paid Wi-Fi hotspots that are placed
in locations that are approved by the government. Some of these locations
include campuses of different universities, hotel lobbies, areas that the
government approves etc. The major telecom company that provides the internet
is Etesca. Majority of the Cubans are waiting for the day when the internet
would not be restricted and be readily available to its citizens.
Cuba was one of the first countries in Latin America to have
television as well as radio for their people. The main organization that is
responsible for the radio as well as the television services in Cuba is called
the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television which is formally termed as ICRT.
It was due to the wide mass usage of the radio use by its citizens that led to
the development of televisions in Cuba. One of the most famous radio stations
is radio Havana Cuba. It is also run by
the government of Cuba and it also has international broadcasts. This radio
station can be easily be heard from any part of the world. Some of the other
radio stations in Cuba are Radio Rebelde, Radio Reloj, Radio Taino and Radio
Encyclopedia. A lot of Cuban people listen to the radio and it is used
Media in India
There are several organization of media in India that are owned as
well as controlled by different types of entities. These entities include
various corporations, different individuals as well as some societies and trust
foundations. India faces a lot of cross ownership problems. There are a lot of
political parties as well as people who have a close relation to politics that
control the media of India. In most cases, the editorial management in the various
media outlets are involved in political affairs. Therefore, sometimes if there
is media content on something regarding to politics, and if the government does
not appreciate that content or disagrees to it, the government can intrude and
take down that media.
There are different types of communication media is in India which
is Print media and electronic media. Print media consists of newspaper and
magazines. The electronic media consists of the radio, television and the
internet. Majority of the country is very much dependent on newspapers. Every
state has its main newspaper that it issues. They are issued according to the
language of the state as well as in English. Journalism is not a dangerous
profession in India. , however there are times where the government has the
right to take down information that the journalists have put up that they think
is not supposed to be voiced to the nation. India has 22 major languages in
which newspapers are issues. However
they are all readily also available in English as well. The major kinds of
press in India are The Times of India, The Hindu, Hindustan Times, The Pioneer
and India Today.
Internet is widely used throughout the people in the urban areas
of India, however the rural regions are yet to pick up. Facebook is the leading
social media that is used by Indians. Twitter is used mostly by celebrities,
people in major political parties as well as the journalists that want to voice
their opinion on various matters pertaining to the state. The youth however is
very much active on snapchat as well as Instagram. There are a lot of Wi-Fi
zones in India including the airport. Users usually have to sign in with their
email and set up a password to get free access. However, some most of these
free Wi-Fi zones are zones are pretty weak in their signals. Most of the homes
in India have Wi-Fi. The rural regions is very limited but it is widely used by
The internet is a huge medium of communication. Majority of the
people in India are active internet users. India has no restrictions on
providing international news to its citizens. There are no restrictions on
internet usage by the government, however the government has the right to take
down content on the internet that they feel is misleading and biased to its
citizens. Even though majority of the population in India are internet users,
the internet is very slow in its functioning. Even though measures are being
taken to increase the speed, India has been experiencing slow internet.
The television in India is a huge sector of the Indian media. It
is a large industry with a variety of programs in different dialects. The
citizens of India are huge lovers of television that about more than half of
the homes in India have their own television. This sector has been growing on a
rapid basis. Every state has its own set of channels in their own language in India.
However, some of the major television channels that are widely viewed by the
public are STAR plus, Colors, Zee TV, Sun TV, Sony Entertainment Television
There are a majority of radio channels in India, however not a lot
of people are not too much into it. Most of the time citizens listen to the
radio when they are in their cars traveling to work or some restaurants play
music on the radio to their customers. Radio usage has been lowering ever since
the internet usage has been increasing. Every state again has its own language radio
stations, but there are English channels as well. Some of the main radio
channels in India are Radio Mirchi, Red FM 93.5, Big FM 92.7 and Radio City
Films in Cuba and India
According to Adelman (1981), “Cuban cinema provides the next best thing to a first- hand
look at the political and socio-economic changes unfolding in the country
(p.2). A large variety of films in Cuba depict the different types of social
groups in the country. The Cuban viewing public developed a healthy appetite
for cinema during the first half of the twentieth century, but in spite of many
efforts and some notable early films by Cuban filmmakers and producers, a
national cinema initially failed to develop as fully (Gutherberg, 2011). The films in Cuba are
highly controlled by the government and has a huge relations to the political
background of the country. Cuba is a developing country and is under the
communist authoritarian regime.
The two central themes that are always present in Cuban
cinema are historical circumstance and individual response finds expression in
almost all Cuban cinema (Adelman,
1981). The various historical films in Cuba are meant to give the audience an insight
how the country was pre- revolution and how the country is post revolution. There were about 80 films of full length that
were produced in Cuba before the Cuban Revolution that took place in 1959 that
were melodramas. In Cuban
cinema, the internal dynamics of social relationships are invariably related to
the larger social processes of social change (Adelman, 1981).
Institute of Cinematographic Art formally known as ICAIC was formed by the
Cuban government in the year of 1959, after the revolution took place. The main
aim of the ICAIC was to educate the citizens through the films. Before the year
of 1959, people in Cuba were not educated, and the education that was also
provided was not free to the public. In those days, it was only the rich people
in Cuba that got educated. Thus, the government wanted a medium of films to
educate the public and increase the literacy rate of the public. Some of the
films that were produced in Cuba was the ICAIC were documentary type of films
as well as feature films.
According to Gomez (1998), Cuban cinema has been widely
and rightly acclaimed for its ability to invent new formal strategies, most
notably the breakdown of documentary and fiction distinctions to arrive at an
integrated style capable at once of unmasking the realism of traditional
narrative and the verisimilitude of documentary (p.93). It
was after the Cuban Revolution when the country’s films were called the called ‘golden
age’ this was the period was the government payed more attention to the film
industry and provided more funding to help and develop the production of movies
(Cuban Business Report, 2016). It was through these films that the public was
meant to be influenced on the history and the country’s politics. Even today,
the ICAIC has a tremendous support to the film industry of Cuba. Cuba being
such a beautiful country, there are a lot of international films that are shot
in Cuba. The culture, the streets and the people are truly fascinating to
very famous for its films all around the world. Indian films are known to be called
“Bollywood”. It was the Lumiere Borthers that showed some of their first shot
films in the city of Bombay (now called Mumbai). The person who was very much influenced by
the Lumiere Brothers was a man named Dadasaheb Phalke. He was the one who
directed and produced the first silent film called ‘Raja Harishchandra’ and is
of a time duration of about 40 minutes. This film was made in the year of 1913.
Phalke, is known to be the Father of Indian Cinema. This film was a huge hit to
the Indian citizens and that’s when cinema started in India.
since the early 1920’s when there were different types of production companies
that started in India. There were a lot of films based on the history of the
country as well based on the religious aspects based on Mahabharata and
Ramayana. The Indian cinema is known to be the oldest of cinemas in the world.
Today, nearly every state has its own films that are published with millions of
views. Indian cinemas are one of the largest in the world due to its variety
and popularity. Around the world, Indian cinema is popularity called “Bollywood”.
However, it is the film in the language of Hindi in India that is called Bollywood.
A large variety of people get this wrong as it is stereotyped as every Indian
film is Bollywood. Bollywood was first started in Mumbai in the state of
Maharashtra. Bollywood got its name from the city of Bombay and inspiration
As a person
who was born and raised in Bombay (now called Mumbai), I have known the hype
that my country has towards its films. I still remember my father used to take
our family for the first show of the film whenever it was realized. The hype of
Bollywood is so crazy in India that you would find posters of the film and the
release date wherever you look. It could be on a bus, sides of a trail, in
malls, posters on the side of small stores etc. The amount of actors and
actresses in India are rising at an extensive rate. Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan,
Amir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan are some of the most famously known actors.
movies are known for their drama, music and dance. It is fascinating that every
Indian movie has songs in them and dances or one of the two. There are various
genres of Indian movies ranging from comedies, to romantic ones, to thrillers
as well as horrors. Majority of these have songs in them and dances are well.
There are several reasons why dance and songs in Indian films are present.
Entertainment is huge to the Indian public when it comes to songs and dances.
As kids, ever Indian is put to a classical singing classes or even dance
classes. It has been a long term tradition. As a result, the expectations of
the public rise as well when it comes to films.
There are about six hundred to a thousand
films that are produced annually in India (Time, 2003). Majority of these movies are really long on
the basis of their time duration. The main reason for this is the number of
songs and dances in the films. Movies usually range from two to three hours on
an average, which is relatively long compared to the average western movie.
Some of the other distinct features about Indian movies are the relatively low
amount of affection on-screen. In the early times, hugs were the only display
of affection. But slowly, films have started to show on screen kissing. In India, kissing is public is not seen.
Couples usually hold hands, and hug. That is the highest form of public display
and dances in Bollywood films are a form of expression. If in a movie, if there
is a happy scene, filmmakers want to really express that scene. This form of
expression is not just with a smile or a dance but it is in the form of a
celebration. This celebration is celebrated in the form of a songs and dances.
Majority of the Bollywood films that have these songs and dances, it is not
only the actors that dance. There are backstage dancers that dance behind the
actors and actresses. The happiness emotion in Indian films is a very huge
emotion that needs a lot of emphasis.
main reason for these songs and dances in Bollywood films are for promotional
reasons. All music channels in India show music with film based song and
dances. There are relatively low bands in India, thus promoting movies that
have songs and dances in them markets the film to the public. These songs have
a lot of beats and rhymes to them. As a result, the audience is more inclined
to go to the theater and watch the movie as the songs were already publicized
in the channels. Most of the time many films that are released are not
successful, meaning that they do not achieve the gross income the movie is
expected to have. However this deficiency is compensated by the movies music.
By selling the music rights of the movie, the movie can earn a significant
amount of money that will add up to achieve the movies projected profit.
Comparative Analysis of Films in Cuba and India
One of the key differences between films
in Cuba and India are originality. Cuban films are very original and no films
are copied from films of other nations, whereas Indian films lack a lot of originality.
Cuban films don’t have songs and dances in them, whereas Indian films have a
lot of dance and songs in them. A lot of Cuban films are based on the history
of the country that is Cuba wants to emphasize of how the revolution impacted
the country and its people. India on the other hand, has movies that focuses on
how the country was post-independence, however the pattern of the film is very
predictable. Educating the public on key issues is a focus of Cuban movies,
whereas Indian movies are mostly of the romantic genre and always has a hero in
them. Cuban movies have a lot of substance in them, whereas Indian movies have
no substance and some of the movies don’t really make sense. Majority of
directors in Indian movies choose actors and actresses that are light skinned.
In Cuba skin color in movies is not a feature the directors look into. In Cuban
films, a sense of greeting to another is in the form of a kiss on the cheek.
Whereas a greeting in Indian films is not a public display of affection. Cuban
films are highly controlled by the government, whereas Indian films are
controlled by private media houses.