U.S. Premiere of Cuban Documentary Maestra (Teacher) The 1961 Cuban Literacy Campaign: Transforming Cuban Women and Society
Bay Area screenings:
April 6 - La Peña Cultural Center 7pm
April 7 - Mission Cultural Center 7pm
Maestra, a new documentary about the 1961 Cuban Literacy Campaign, will be premiered in ten U.S. cities in March/April, 2011. Accompanying Maestra on this national tour will be Catherine Murphy, Director/Producer, and Professor Norma Guillard from Cuba, one of the original teachers from the campaign featured in the film. Guillard was 15 years old when she and her sister joined the literacy campaign and, as she expresses in the film, “It is the most important thing I have done in the history of my life.”
In 1961, two years after the revolution, Cuba recruited 100,000 youth to go to the countryside to teach peasants how to read and write. Within one year, these teachers, the majority of them young women and teenage girls, taught 707,000 Cubans to read and write, eradicating illiteracy, according to UNESCO standards, in one of the most successful literacy campaigns ever in the world. Cuba’s model of achieving Literacy is currently being adopted in over 50 nations.
Maestra celebrates this amazing story on the 50th anniversary of the literacy campaign through original film footage of the period, photographs and personal interviews of the teachers who are now in their 60's, 70's and 80's. As they tell their stories, the Cuban women reflect on the transformation of their own lives and the whole of Cuban society as a result of the literacy campaign. For most, it was the first time these women experienced independence and realized their power.
For continued updated information on the tour including a full calendar of events, please go to www.womenandcuba.org Murphy and Guillard will be available for interviews during the dates of the national tour.
For a 7 minute trailer of Maestra, please go to www.theliteracyproject.org