As you know, I am passionate about story telling. I believe it's important for all of us to record our personal histories. Much more so those of us whose stories are woven into a larger historical context.
I've been so honored to be able to share some of your stories recently in the series Cuando Sali de Cuba: stories of courage and hope.
I plan on continuing to highlight those stories as long as you keep sending them. The plight of Cubans - on the island as well as those of us who are exiles - has long been misunderstood by the general population. I want people to know who we are and where we came from and why.
Amy Kikita and I had the pleasure recently of meeting two Cuban filmmakers each with a different story to tell.
Dr. Jose Garcia tells his "coming to America" story in the moving documentary, Voices from Mariel.
Dr. Garcia goes back to Cuba and the neighborhoods of his youth searching for the friends and loved ones he left behind when he left Cuba via the Mariel Boatlift in 1980. He interviews other Marielitos, who tell the stories of leaving their homeland and what it was like coming to the U.S. as part of that amazing historical exodus of 125,000 souls.
Voices from Mariel will be shown this coming weekend at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida and also on November 6th at the Alexandria Film Festival in Alexandria, Virginia.
Check their Facebook page for dates, locations and times.
Carlos Montaner directed the beautiful documentary, Grandchildren of the Cuban Revolution. Montaner interviews young Cubans who are still on the island and are frozen out of the political and economic process there. This moving film allows them to express their fears and frustrations about growing up under communist rule.
Watching both films, I felt like I was seeing two sides of the same story.
There are as many stories as there are Cuban people. All of them involve heartbreak loss and longing. All are worthy to be told.
Today I have 3 DVDs to give away.
One copy of Carlos Montaner's film, The Grandchildren of the Cuban Revolution.
And two copies of Dr. Garcia's Voices from Mariel.
To enter the drawing for a chance to win one of the DVDs, please leave a comment on this post and answer one or both of the following questions:
- If you're Cuban, when did you leave? And how?
- If you're not Cuban, (you're welcome to enter this giveaway, too, of course!) tell me what you know about or what fascinates you about Cuban people. Or if you have a personal connection, please tell me.
I'll do a random drawing on Wednesday, October 26th at 7 pm Pacific Time.
NOTE: If you have not yet sent me your own "Coming to America" story, please send it to me via email along with some photos. Write Cuando Sali de Cuba in the subject line. I promise to highlight it here on MBFCF. Thank you!