If you live in the Miami area and you haven’t seen “Cubamerican” yet, set an hour aside at 8 pm, and set your recording device too, because you will probably want to return to this film over and over.
This is a most unusual event, in and of itself: one of the very few programs shown on PBS that is not pro-Castro or anti-exile. Perhaps it’s the first time ever that a PBS station has veered from its doctrinaire “balanced” policy (which interprets”balance” as assigning the moral high ground to the Castro regime and its propaganda).
José Enrique Pardo has produced a brilliant and very moving documentary. This is must-see TV, as NBC used to say.
Now… if only PBS would air this nationwide…. (don’t ever count on that)…..
Cubamerican Airs on WPBT2 Thursday: “It’s the Story of Our Exile”
To live in Miami is to be immersed in Cuban culture, but how many of us really know the tale of our neighbors, our ancestors, and ourselves?
José Enrique Pardo had enough of romantic Hollywood depictions and took matters into his own hands. With only two short films under his belt, he set out to document what drove millions to leave their home, to send their children over 90 miles perhaps never to be seen again, and to answer the equally important question of what these first generation immigrants have done with their freedom.
And what gives him the right? It’s his story, too.
“I think the most important thing that came out of the film is that we as Cubans were able to tell our own story with our own words and our own characters,” Pardo said. “It’s the story of our exile, the truth of our exile, as we perceive it.”
Cubamerican will make its television debut on PBS Thursday, September 4, at 8 p.m., and all Miamians, Cubano or not, would be wise to tune in. It’s incredibly enlightening for people of all backgrounds. It sheds light on the Revolution and the big waves of immigrants in such a way as has never been portrayed. But it’s also incredibly personal as we watch Pardo and 21 other first-generation “Cubamericans” journey through their souls and put into words the struggle of families torn part, histories lost, and a people stuck between two nations.
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