Afro-Latin@ Film Series 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

WNYC is a media sponsor of the Afro Latino/Latina Film Series. Every Friday in October beginning October 7.

The Afro-Latin@ Film Series kicks off with Afro-Cuban night at  WNYC's Jerome L Greene Space  - 44 Charlton Street (Corner of Charlton and Varick), New York

Recordando el Mamoncillo
Pam Sporn (2006,15 mins.)
Directed and produced by Pamela Sporn

Every second Sunday of July from the 1960s through the early 2000s, hundreds of Cubans and lovers of Cuban music assembled at the Bohemian Beer Garden in Queens for the Recordando el Mamoncillo festival.  The festival was hosted by el Club Cubano Interamericano and modeled after an annual dance that many of the club’s members had attended in Cuba. “El Mamoncillo” was not just a dance, but also an event that maintained Cuban culture and provided a way for Cuban families and friends to reunite every year.  

Recordando el Mamoncillo tells the story of the yearly festival that is now only a memory. The history and cultural importance of El Club Cubano and the Recordando el Mamoncillo festival is brought to life by dance scenes, testimonies of long-time members of the club and musical performances by Chico Alvarez y su Palo Monte, Son Sublime, Charanga All-Stars, and Orquesta Broadway.

El Club Cubano Inter-Americano, an Afro-Cuban social club was formed in New York City in 1945. Inspired by Antonio Maceo, the Black Cuban hero of the Cuban wars of independence, El Club Cubano was founded with the objective of creating a cultural space that would welcome Cubans and other Latin Americans regardless of “race, sex, and political or religious creed.” In its heyday the club held banquets in honor of boxer Kid Gavilán, singers Beny Moré and Celia Cruz. Until recently, El Club Cubano was held together by a group of elders who continued to host the annual “Recordando el Mamoncillo” dance.

Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories
Documentary, 57 minutes
Spanish & English subtitles
Directed by Pam Sporn
Edited by Rafael Parra
Original score by 2005 Grammy winner Oscar Hernández

Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories highlights the historical journey of a black Cuban family, revealing that the Cuban-American experience is more complex racially and ideologically than is popularly understood. Pablo Elliot Foster, the son of Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants, narrates Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories.  After his father returns to Cuba for the first time after 33 years in the US, Pablo decides to explore his own Afro-Latino identity.  Pablo’s guides are his father, aunt, and uncle, who emigrated from Cuba as children in1962. Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories is the visual autobiography of one family that confronts questions of diaspora, class, immigration and identity.