This short film showing Havana in the 1930s was shot by André de la Varre, the long-time cameraman and cinematographer for American traveler, photographer and filmmaker Burton Holmes. In those days, Havana was a flourishing and fashionable city dubbed the “Paris of the Caribbean,” attracting an ever increasing number of tourists. André de la Varre’s film portrays Havana as the “exotic capital of appeal,” which pretty much sums up its essence during those days.
Bonus material: A list of all the sights shown in this film can be found here; another short film about Havana in the 1950s here. This video from late 2008 gives an idea of the sorry state of Havana’s city center today. And don’t foget to marvel at the wonderful collection of vintage travel films at The Travel Film Archive.
By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.