Cuban Film Series: “Imágenes del Caribe”

The series “Imágenes del Caribe” [Images of the Caribbean] will showcase Cuban films by producers Gloria Rolando and Gilberto Martínez on February 24 from 6:00-9:00pm at the Monroe County Public Library Auditorium. The library is located at 303 East Kirkwood Avenue in Bloomington, Indiana.

The two films—Eyes of the Rainbow and The Jazz in Us [Nosotros y el Jazz]—are presented by CUBAmistad, a grassroots, sister-city project linking Bloomington and Santa Clara, Cuba, in an effort to promote peace through mutual respect and understanding.

Eyes of the Rainbow (1997) is about Black Liberation Army leader and Black Panther Assata Shakur, who escaped from prison and was granted political asylum in Cuba. In the film, Shakur describes the history of her life in Cuba and her AfroCuban beliefs, including her faith in Orisha Oya, “the ruler of the wind,” a Yoruba goddess. The film also features blues music interpreted by Junius Williams, the songs of vocal ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, and the Havana-based roots group Vocal Baobab.

The Jazz in Us (2004) relates the common history shared by Afro-Cubans and African Americans as told through the eyes of jazz-loving, black Havana youths in the 1940s and 50s. Now in their sixties and seventies, the stars of this documentary recall a time when they met for jazz “jam sessions” in private homes and clubs and found inspiration through the art of African American musicians, singers and dancers.

CUBAmistad member Cynthia Roberts says that “because of current relations between the United States and Cuba, we’re often shielded from unbiased perceptions of things going on there. The event will give Bloomington residents a chance to see things through the eyes of a Cuban artist.

Cuban producer Gilberto Martínez Gómez worked at the Cuban Institute for Cinematographic Arts and Industries [Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográfica or ICAIC] from 1985 to 2005, coordinating special effects for feature films. He has also worked as a freelance cameraman, cinematographer, and director of photography since 1986. He has co-produced documentary films for the independent film company “Imágenes del Caribe” and other projects with Gloria Rolando. Martínez will be available throughout the evening to describe his work and answer questions.

The event is partially sponsored by La Casa, The Black Film Center, The Americas Series, Indiana University Film and Media Studies, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS).

For full article, see http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/13223.html

For more information on CUBAmistad and the film series, see http://www.bloomington.in.us/~amistad/

For more information on Gilberto Martínez Gómez, see http://afrocubaweb.com/gilbertomartinez.htm

Photo of Assata Shakur, taken by Margaret Randall, from http://www.margaretrandall.org/

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