Screening next week Monday, October 8, as part of the BFC/A-sponsored CUBAmistad Series (which celebrates Cuban art and film) at Indiana University, is the documentary Maestra, directed by Catherine Murphy, her directorial debut.
Here’s how the film is described:
Cuba, 1961: 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year. 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old. Over half were women. Maestra explores this story through the personal testimonies of the young women who went out to teach literacy in rural communities across the island – and found themselves deeply transformed in the process.
Through current day interviews in their homes in Havana, archival film footage and still photos, the film looks at that moment and how it changed their lives as women.
Cuba of the 1950s was dominated by a staunchly patriarchal family structure. Most of the young women’s families refused to let them volunteer, and only did so after intense negotiations with their families, fighting for a degree of autonomy and independence that had rarely been allowed for Cuban women before then.
“It was a teenage girl uprising.”
The main characters followed in the film are Daysi Veitia, Gina Rey, Norma Guillard, Eloisa Hernandez, Adria & Ivonne Santana, Blanca Monett, Diana Balboa and Griselda Aguilera.
All screenings in the CUBAmistad Series are free (including this one), but are ticketed. So if you’re at all interested in seeing it, and you’re in the IU area, click HERE to learn how you can see the film, and other relevant info.
Director Murphy will be present at the screening, and BFC/A Director Michael Martin will moderate a panel discussion after the film.
Here’s its trailer: