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Cuban Son Documentary Essay

965 words - 4 pages

With the many different forms of media available today, audiences have the opportunity to learn and be influenced on the ideas and beliefs of other in many different ways. One example of an effective form of media is visual media as we find in videos or movies. It has been said that “the eyes are the window to the soul” and therefore what we look at or watch can have a profound influence on us.
For me, Cuba has always seemed like a very interesting and mysterious place. We are always told that the government of Cuba treats its people badly and that this poverty stricken nation is the enemy. While we can say that the governments of the United States and Cuba don’t agree on much, the people ...view middle of the document...

However, in the especially African part of western Cuba, the influence of African beats and sounds developed the Son style which eventually made its way to Havana (Chambers).
At first, the whites of Havana looked down on this new musical style and in a way viewed it as a counter culture style of art. The heavy drum beats that was common in African music differed greatly to the European style they were used to. However, this music was truly “Cuban” which caused many to wonder if this genre of music was truly representative of the majority of Cubans rather than a small group of elites (Chambers). No longer content with being subjugated to an inferior position, the poor Black Cuban was redefining what it meant to be Cuban and what they wanted their society to be like. Therefore, once this music was accepted by all Cubans, for the first time it really didn’t matter what color a person’s skin was, but rather if he was Cuban or not.
The author of the documentary films the American guitarist Ry Cooder in many different situations throughout Cuba and playing with the Cuban musicians. Cooder is considered by many to be a guitar legend and the movie could have focused primarily on him. However I think the director did a fine job of emphasizing the truly important story behind Son and the important role it has played for Cubans and those men that were so influential in creating the music. We get to see Cuba as it really is and hear the stories of how these men saw the changes in their lives and in their country. All along, Son was a part of their lives and a kind of “soundtrack” to the social and political...

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