Join us for the screening of MAESTRA followed by a conversation with filmmaker Catherine Murphy.
In 1961, over 250,000 Cubans joined their country’s National Literacy Campaign and taught 707,000 people to read and write. Almost half of these volunteer teachers were under 18. More than half were women. Narrated by Alice Walker, Maestra (Spanish for teacher) explores the experiences of eight 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 LGBT 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.