Film: Gloria Rolando’s “Voces para un silencio / Breaking the Silence”


Part III of the 2012 documentary series 1912, Voces para un silencio [1912, Breaking the Silence] by filmmaker Gloria Rolando will be screened as part of the Casa de las Américas International Colloquium “La diversidad cultural en el Caribe” [Cultural Diversity in the Caribbean] on Wednesday, May 22, at 7:30pm. The film will be introduced by Jean Víctor Géneus, Ambassador of Haiti in Cuba, at the Che Guevara Room at Casa de las Américas in Havana, Cuba. 1912, Breaking the Silence consists of three chapters dedicated to the history of the Party of the Independents of Color (PIC). It offers “an approximation, a tentative sketch, of a little known part of Cuba’s history.” [See previous post New Film: “1912, Voces para un silencio”.]

Negra cubana tenía que ser (blog) writes:

This episode of “Voces para un silencio” is like a love poem for those who gave up their lives for an ideal, in 1912, in the midst of so much injustice, betrayal, mistreatment, discrimination and abuses. It is about a large group of men and women—blacks, whites and mestizos—led by Evaristo Estenoz and Pedro Ivonet, who sought to uphold rights in a racist and sectarian society. Many of them had faced colonialism with courage and determination for the independence of Cuba, but, because of the color of their skin, did not get receive the appropriate treatment with the establishment of the Republic. Some thought that the Republic would constitute a country “with all people and for the good of all people,” as José Martí dreamed. To their surprise, the opposite happened.

The documentary demonstrates that the Independents were tricked; it convincingly illustrates this historic event, which had been hidden for nearly a century. Through chilling testimonial accounts, considerations by historians, photographs, newspapers, and documents of the times, the analysis of symbols and music, Gloria Rolando reflects, accurately, how the slaughter was prepared and what [then] President José Miguel Gómez and the Army (under the command of General Manuel de Jesús Monteagudo) carried out in cold blood.

The material examines retrospectively the relentless and bloody persecution against the Independents by the military, through lynchings, assassinations, and hangings. [. . .] The third chapter of Voces is not only a call for all Cubans to reflect on that disastrous event, in which more than five thousand people of color who dared to claim their rights were killed, but also makes us think about how to ensure that it never happens again.

Filmmaker Gloria Rolando is a screenwriter and director of several documentaries, such as  Oggún, un eterno presente; Los hijos de Baraguá; Los ojos del arco iris; Pasaje del corazón y la memoria, Las raíces de mi corazón, and the latest three-part series Voces para un silencio.

For original article (in Spanish), see

Also see

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