Favorite Books and Movies on Cuba

We have compiled a list of our favorite books and movies that paint a picture of Cuba’s past or present.  Indulge yourself in some of our favorites!  There are many more on the market than what are listed below, we don’t add in the ones we didn’t enjoy or that didn’t fit with the Cuba we know.


  • Out of Havana by Araceli Alonso (history of Cuban revolution told in fictional format-EXCELLENT perspective)
  • DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Cuba (awesome guidebook)
  • I Will Die Free by Noble Alexander (Religious persecution)
  • The Red Umbrella by Cristina Gonzalez (Young Adult, Operation Peter Pan)
  • The German Girl by Armando Lucas Corea (Historical Fiction about Jews escaping the Holocaust and USS St. Louis)
  • Monkey Hunting by Cristina Garcia (Chinese immigration)
  • Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba by Tom Gjelten (history of the Bacardi family business starting in 1850’s)
  • Boxing for Cuba: An Immigrant’s Story by Guillermo Vicente Vidal (Former Mayor of Denver-Operation Peter Pan)
  • Cuban Color in Tourism and La Lucha: An Ethnography of Racial Meanings by L. Kaifa Rowland (Racism)
  • Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton (romance novel, flashes between Revolution times & modern day)
  • Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia (fiction story of Cuban women in US & Cuba, great descriptions of santeria)
  • Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner (story of American businessmen in Cuba during the revolution)
  • Havana: A Subtropical Delirium by Mark Kurlansky  (journalist style book on the history of Cuba)
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (essential for a visit to Cojimar!)


  • The Lost City-casino owner who flees after the Revolution
  • Havana-Robert Redford, Havana during the Revolution
  • Viva Cuba-story of a boy and girl struggling with life in Havana
  • Mambo Kings-Musician brothers leave Cuba for America in the 1950s, hoping to hit the top of the Latin music scene
  • The Motorcycle Diaries-Che Guevarra
  • 638 Ways to Kill Castro-documentary on how the US was going to eliminate Castro in the 1960s
  • The Buena Vista Social Club-documentary on how the pre-revolutionary musicians were brought together in the ‘90’s
  • The Cuba Libre Story- 8 hour long episodes that tell of Cuba’s history in documentary style
  • PBS has a lot of documentaries on Cuba
  • YouTube is a great source for informational videos