Maestra Documentary Film Screening ~ Cuba


After a year on the festival circuit Maestra comes to Maysles Cinema in NYC for a night of film, music and poetry to celebrate the transformative power of words.

Film screening

Q & A with director Catherine Murphy and film protagonist Norma Guillard

Live music by Cuban Hip-Hop Duo Obsesión
Poetry and spoken word by local artists

$10 suggested donation/no one turned away for lack of funds——————

MAESTRAA documentary by Catherine Murphy

33 minutes/2011/USA

Cuba, 1961: 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year. 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old. Over half were women. 

Maysles Cinema and The Literacy Project present the documentary film Maestra, followed by a discussion with director/producer Catherine Murphy, film protagonist Norma Guillard from Cuba, followed with a special performance by Cuban Hip-Hop duo Obsesión, who composed some of the original documentary soundtrack, and are currently on a US tour.

The Cuban Literacy Campaign in 1961 was one of the most successful literacy campaigns to date. The documentary Maestra explores the personal stories of the youngest women literacy workers who went into mountains and valleys across the island to teach – and found themselves deeply transformed in the process. Over half of the newly literate adults were women. Many learned to write the alphabet – and their own names – for the first time. For the young women who left their homes and went to teach, the campaign remains one of the most important experiences of their lives. Many say it was the first time they felt independent, capable, and free.

Through personal testimonies, Maestra explores the importance of education for empowering youth and women, and is a testament to what is possible. 

“Based in living history, Maestra aims to spark contemporary dialogue, reflection, and positive social change.This film brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. It is beautiful.” Alice Walker

“This film shares this story of a nation overcoming illiteracy, showing that great things are possible when people organize and work together. I believe this film will make a significant contribution to our understanding of our neighbor nation of Cuba -as well as literacy itself- and serve as an important tool in the struggle for justice.” Dolores Huerta

“Catherine Murphy’s project rescues the most important literacy experience in the Americas. Her protagonists share their own experiences, each telling a formidable collective adventure. Catherine has dedicated her time, energy and talent to this project. The result, I am certain, will rise to the challenge.” Eduardo Galeano

More info and tickets at…!

Hosted by Catherine Murphy

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