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Virtual Film Festival Week 3

Date: April 12, 2020, April 18, 2020

This online festival has been custom curated for the Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC-Chapel Hill. The link to the film festival is below at the Read More button! The password to access is isa-connect-20

Two films will be available each week from March 29 – April 18, 2020.

April 12-18


A film by Catherine Murphy. 2012. 33 minutes.

In 1961, over 250,000 Cubans joined their country's National Literacy Campaign and taught more than 707,000 other Cubans to read and write. Almost half of these volunteer teachers were under 18. More than half were women.

Narrated by Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, “Maestra” explores the experiences of nine of the women who, as young girls, helped eradicate Cuban illiteracy within one year. Interweaving recent interviews, archival footage, and campaign photos, this lively documentary includes one of the first Cubans of her generation to call herself a feminist and one of the first openly proud members of Cuba’s LGBTQI community. With wit and spirit, all recall negotiating for autonomy and independence in a culture still bound by patriarchal structures.

Eight years in the making, “Maestra” highlights the will and courage that made the monumental endeavor possible and the pivotal role of women's and youth empowerment in building a new society.

“I Wonder What You Will Remember of September”

A film by Cecilia Cornejo. 2004. 27 minutes.

Cecilia Cornejo presents a haunting personal response to the events of September 11, 2001, informed and complicated by her status as a Chilean citizen living in the U.S. With evocative imagery from both past and present, Cornejo weaves together her own fading childhood memories, her parents vivid recollections of the September 11, 1973 coup in Chile that brought Augusto Pinochet to power and post-9/11 conversations with her own young daughter. The resulting montage thoughtfully explores how personal and collective histories intersect, as well as how trauma is lived, supposedly erased, and passed on from one generation to the next.

The film maker also alludes to what she believes is a deep contradiction within the American consciousness, one that makes it possible to view the 9/11/01 attacks as tragedy, while failing to interpret “outside” events such as the Chilean coup or the invasion of Iraq as such. Cornejo’s mesmerizing experimental film provides a striking new context with which to view the World Trade Center attacks- from the point of view of an immigrant whose home country has endured its own tragedies.