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Lillian Casillas
La Casa (Latino Cultural Center)

Last modified: Tuesday, February 2, 2010

CUBAmistad to bring Cuban filmmaker, films to Bloomington

WHAT: "Imagens Del Caribe" film screenings with co-producer Gilberto Martinez
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 6-9 p.m.
WHERE: Monroe County Public Library Auditorium, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave.
TICKETS: Free admittance (no ticket required)

Feb. 2, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Cuban culture will come to U.S. soil with "Imagens Del Caribe" ("Images of the Caribbean"), a showcase of Cuban films by producers Gloria Rolando and Gilberto Martinez, showing Feb. 24, at 6 p.m., at the Monroe County Public Library.

Gilberto Gomez

Gilberto Martinez

The two films, titled Eyes of the Rainbow and The Jazz in Us (Nosotros y el Jazz), are presented by CUBAmistad, a grassroots, sister-city project linking Bloomington and Santa Clara, Cuba, in an effort to promote peace through mutual respect and understanding.

Eyes of the Rainbow (1997) depicts the life of Black Liberation Army leader and Black Panther Assata Shakur, who escaped from prison and was granted political asylum in Cuba. In the film, Shakur describes the history of her life in Cuba and her AfroCuban beliefs, including her faith in Orisha Oya, "the ruler of the wind," a Yoruba goddess. The film also features blues music interpreted by Junius Williams, the songs of vocal ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock and the Havana-based roots group Vocal Baobab.

Through the eyes of jazz-loving, black Havana youths in the 1940s and '50s, The Jazz in Us (2004) relates a chapter in the history shared by Afrocubans and African Americans through their common culture. Now in their 60s and 70s, the stars of this documentary recall a time when they met for jazz "jam sessions" in private homes and clubs and found inspiration through the art of African American musicians, singers and dancers.

"Because of current relations between the United States and Cuba, we're often shielded from unbiased perceptions of things going on there," said CUBAmistad member Cynthia Roberts. "The event will give Bloomington residents a chance to see things through the eyes of a Cuban artist."

Martinez will be available throughout the evening to answer questions and describe his cinematic art.

Martinez, a Cuba native, worked at the Cuban Institute for Cinematographic Arts and Industries or ICAIC (el Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográfica) from 1985 to 2005, coordinating special effects for feature films. He has also worked as a freelance cameraman, cinematographer and director of photography since 1986, and co-produced documentary films for the independent film company Imagens Del Caribe and other projects with Rolando.

The event is partially sponsored by La Casa, The Black Film Center, The Americas Series, Indiana University Film and Media Studies and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS).

For more information about the U.S.-Cuba Sister Cities Association, see More information about CUBAmistad and the film series can be found at More information about Gilberto Martinez Gomez is at