July 26th is celebrated in Cuba as the initiation of the movement that led to the island’s true independence. On behalf of IPS fellow Saul Landau, the Institute for Policy Studies, the DC chapter of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Witness for Peace will host the screening of two great films about Cuba, out of respect for this important date in Cuban culture.
The Cuban Literacy Campaign of 1961 dramatically improved the nation’s literacy levels within one year by organizing over 100,000 volunteers – over half of whom were women – to teach classes in the rural areas of the country. In 2005, a documentary crew began collecting testimonies of women literacy teachers, exploring how this experience influenced their lives & sense of self, as well as the future of their nation. The result was this inspiring new film by Catherine Murphy, Maestra.
Will The Real Terrorist Please Stand Up, the latest film by Saul Landau, documents the half-century history of small groups of Cuban exiles who have waged a terrorist campaign against Cuba’s revolutionary government, with active or passive support from the U.S. government. This history involves the CIA, violence, and five Cubans serving long sentences in U.S. prisons for trying to stop terrorism. The film features an interview with Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Cuban Five who is currently serving life imprisonment in Victorville Maximum Security Prison for “conspiracy to commit espionage.” Also featured are interviews Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch, and others who have acknowledged perpetrating acts of terrorism in Cuba as “freedom fighters.” Surprises in the film include appearances by Fidel Castro and Danny Glover.
DVDs of the films will be on sale at the event.