Posts Tagged ‘Documentaries’
Filmmaker Brin-Jonathan Butler and his team are looking to raise $15K to support their film on the life and struggles of Cuban boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux. You can be a part of their success by helping them fund through Indiegogo. Check out the trailer and info below….
The boxer’s struggle in Cuba is the Cuban struggle. All Cubans struggle from birth and they see the boxer’s struggle as a metaphor for their own.
Fidel Castro banned professional sports in Cuba in 1962. His decree created a difficult choice for boxers—stay in Cuba and fight for national glory or defect to a country where their talents could make them rich. In the 70s Teofilo Stevenson won three Olympic gold medals and turned down five million dollars to defect from Cuba and fight Muhammad Ali, asking those promoters who made the offer, “What’s a million dollars compared to the love of eight million Cubans?”. In the 90s Felix Savon won another three Olympic gold medals and turned down tens of millions to travel to the US to fight Mike Tyson. What Fidel Castro was trying to use his boxers to prove was not just that his boxers were defeating Americans in the ring, but that Cuba and her system were defeating America itself, most noticeably in their sacrifice of financial reward for service to their country.
We meet Rigondeaux as a national hero, 243 fights with only four losses, two Olympic gold medals, captain of the Cuban team, numerous world championships and national championships. Rigondeaux is well on his way to becoming the greatest amateur fighter the world has ever seen. The Cuban state has looked after Rigondeaux following his victories, providing him and his family with a car and Havana home. At this point Rigondeaux feels his sacrifice deserves a greater reward.
In the summer of 2007, Guillermo Rigondeaux fails to show up for his scheduled bout at the Pan Am Games in Brazil. It’s announced that Rigondeaux is turning professional and joining his fellow Cuban Olympians Yan Barthelemy, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Odlandier Solis, who’d defected earlier in 2006. Following the lead of the previous Cuban defectors, Rigondeaux signs a promotional deal with Arena Box-Promotion. Then, on August 2nd 2007,Rigondeaux is taken into police custody in Brazil, pleading that he wants to return home to Cuba.
Upon his return, Fidel Castro states publicly Rigondeaux is a traitor to Cuba and the Cuban people and he will not box again for the Cuban team. His car is seized, his home under constant watch, all former teammates, coaches and friends are forbidden from contact with him. Teofilo Stevenson, Cuba’s most decorated champion speaks out against this publicly and defends Rigondeaux, pleading for his reinstatement to no avail. He’s banned from competing for a 3rd gold medal in Beijing. Rigondeaux, set adrift in the prime of his career, is held hostage by the state and banned from any possible return to boxing.
Secretly Rigondeaux engages in negotiations with foreign parties to arrange for his escape from Cuba and into the world of professional boxing at the cost of losing his wife and child and everything he’s ever known with little or no prospect of ever being able to return.
February 2009, Rigondeaux risks his life to defect with smugglers via Mexico City, into the waiting arms of Miami exiled-Cuban promoters. A legal battle between his Irish manager Gary Hyde and the Miami promoters begins for control of Rigondeaux’s career before it even has a chance to begin. Rigondeaux’s career stalls as the power struggle over his career persists. He is nearly 30 when the issues are resolved and he finally signs a contract with Bob Arum, the largest boxing promoter in the world.
Rigondeaux discovers that the biggest obstacle to his career’s success lies in the fact that the 95% non-black exiled-Cuban community in Florida offer no support of black Cuban fighters. As Bob Arum points out, “Cuban Olympic champions can’t sell out the front row of a dancehall in Miami.”
Shortly after signing his contract in April of 2010, Rigondeaux is nearly knocked out while sparring in Los Angeles with a very limited youthful amateur. He promptly severs ties with his trainer, Freddie Roach, and returns to Miami. From his corner, Roach chillingly points out, “Someone was exposed here today.” At the most important moment of his life, Rigondeaux stands on the brink of either a championship or total professional and personal collapse. After 6 successful fights, Bob Arum steps forward to offer a contract to Gary Hyde, dangling a title shot. If he wins, the American dream could still come true for Rigondeaux. If he loses, he could become just another defector from Cuba who’s lost everything in search of that dream. Like nearly all the defected Cuban fighters who came before him, the biggest opponent Rigondeaux faces is coping with American life. Every time he steps into battle in an American ring, Rigondeaux wears the flag of the nation he has left behind on his trunks. Just what Cuba he is fighting for remains a mystery.
Support the film here: Split Decision: The Guillermo Rigondeaux Story | Indiegogo.
La Belle Vie is a documentary about Haitian life from the perspective of a first generation Haitian American. While this is just a 10 minute preview, it quickly raises some good topics on the Haitian social class system, what it is to be Haitian and the strong connection a lot of us first and second generation Haitians have for a nation we hardly know.
Here’s your chance to contribute to the a movie on an oft-overlooked aspect of Caribbean culture, the steelpan.
Check the info and trailer for Panomudo below, via LargeUp:
British director Keith Musaman Morton and Trini-American producer Charysse Tia Harper are on a mission to share the story of the steelpan in their new film project, Panomundo. Panomundo (the title is a combination of steelpan and the Spanish word mundo, which translates to world) is set to be showcased in 2013, but the directors have already issued a seven-minute promo video online to give viewers a taste of the film to come.
The two award-winning filmmakers are raising funds, and attention, to tell the controversial story of the oil drum turned highly-respected and adopted musical instrument. The film sheds light on how the instrument was created and the stigma that soon followed behind the pan players, who were commonly called Panners or Pansmen….
Contribute to the film by clicking here: Panomundo: Steelpan Around the World | Indiegogo.
The Fastest Man Alive takes an in-depth look behind the scenes at what it took for Usain to ascend to the top of his sport and stay there. It shows his hard work, dedication, training routine and carisma. You’ll get to hear from those who are closest to him and Bolt first hand.
Fashion buffs take notice. Centers of Fashion do not only exist in Europe.
Check out the video below via Shadow & Act:
For you fashionistas (or wannabes), here’s a new, fun, colorful, informative short documentary on T&T fashion, titled Haute Caribe: The World of Trinidad & Tobago Fashion.
You get a little history, some of the present, and of course the future – the shifting fashion landscapes that have occurred over time, of course carnival influences, and more.
It’s directed by Trevor Franchise.
This past weekend, coming off the heels of the 25th anniversary of his death, and in celebration of what would have been his 68th upcoming birthday, Peter Tosh was celebrated in his native Jamaica during its Day of Heroes ceremony with a posthumous Order of Merit. Additionally, his life was the focus of a symposium at UWI, with panelist including his children.
See the details below…
…Tosh, one of Jamaica’s undisputed reggae icons, was not only one of the founding members of one of the greatest reggae groups ever to come out of Jamaica, The Wailers, but was also known as an unapologetic revolutionary and champion for equal rights and justice.
Tosh was more than just a musician, he was an agitator, advocate, activist and protagonist and epitomised in every way the political dimension of Rastafari in all its glory….
…Twenty five years after his passing in this 50th commemorative year of Jamaica’s Independence, Tosh now joins his former band mate, Bob Marley, in being awarded Jamaica’s third highest-honour. No other reggae artistes, other than the indomitable Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley, have achieved this distinction…
Check out the full story here: Peter Tosh symposium to help sing Happy Birthday – Entertainment – Jamaica Gleaner – Saturday | October 13, 2012.
For those who may need a primer on Mr. Tosh, look no farther than Stepping Razor Red X, the 1993 documentary on the artist and activist’s life, which can be viewed in it’s entirety below.
For those of you who haven’t yet noticed, Snoop Dogg has turned a new leaf. After traveling to Jamaica, he has turned to Rastafarianism and has taken the name of Snoop Lion.
Sounds good enough to make a movie out of, doesn’t it? The folks at VICE thought the same. Check out the trailer for REINCARNATED below…
VICE Films, in partnership with Snoopadelic Films, presents REINCARNATED. The documentary follows Snoop Dogg as he journeys to Jamaica to record an album with Diplo. While there, Snoop finds himself embraced by the Jamaican people, is positively impacted by Rastafarian culture, and becomes reincarnated as Snoop Lion.
No word on a release date yet, but we will keep you posted.
Screening tonight at Indiana University is the Cuban documentary Maetra, as part of the BFC/A-sponsored CUBAmistad Series (which celebrates Cuban art and film).
Check out the film’s trailer below…
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. Maestra explores this story through the personal testimonies of the young women who went out to teach literacy in rural communities across the island – and found themselves deeply transformed in the process.
For those in the Bloomington area, more information can be found here: Maestra: Calendar: IU Cinema: Indiana University Bloomington.
Shot over 3 years, in Jamaica, Ghana, Canada and the USA, the new film Akwantu is set to open up the Jamaica 50th Film Showcase at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, on Sunday, October 7. The film is directed by Roy T. Anderson, award-winning Hollywood stuntman to the stars (like Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx). See the synopsis below…
hey were considered the “Spartacus” of their time; except these enslaved Africans were victorious in their fight for freedom. This fact is not lost on Jamaican-born New Jersey-based filmmaker and stuntman Roy T. Anderson. After years of research and dozens of interviews that took him from remote regions of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains to the coastal environs of Ghana and its interior, then finally to the mysterious and isolated community of Accompong, St. Elizabeth, he has conceived Akwantu: the Journey, which documents the struggles for freedom of the Jamaican Maroons, rebel slaves of West African origin who defeated the mighty British army and formed independent communities in the rugged and remote regions of Jamaica in the early-mid 18th century. The descendants of these communities still maintain their proud heritage today. Yet so little is known about the Maroons whose very rich culture and heritage is threatened to now become a thing of the past.
T-Dot residents, definitely make it out if you can. More info can be found here: www.unitedachievers.org/ja50thfilmshowcase.
Check out a three minute preview of Awkwantu below….
…info via Shadow & Act.