Expired May 28, 2021 3:59 AM
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In Santiago de Cuba, four women create breathtaking, ethereal sounds that seem to transcend language, culture, and borders. The Cubana quartet, The Vocal Vidas, are planning to travel to Los Angeles to sing at Grand Performances, but in order to do that, the four women must go through an arduous process to receive their visas from the US government. First, they must travel to Havana, 11 hours by car from their home in Santiago de Cuba, where they must leave their families and wait for an indeterminate amount of time—potentially an entire month—while their visas are processed. It is incredibly rare that visas are approved for Cuban performers of this type to travel to the US, so there are no guarantees that this long trip to Havana will end with the desired result. When they are approved, the women are elated to be able to perform at a venue of this size, as their primary venue has been a historic tourist destination in Santiago de Cuba where they collect tips and sell CDs as their primary source of income. 

Soy Cubana is a heartfelt and unique music documentary that touches not only on the art of singing and performance, but on the political climate between the US and Cuba, and on the lives of four women who have made many sacrifices in their personal lives to continue singing together. The film shines a light on the virulent relationship between the US and Cuba through the story of the Vocal Vidas, and the ways that the US embargo has impacted Cuban citizens in their most basic needs to support their families. The documentary shows how this political process alters Cuban lives, creating roadblocks that many could not afford to overcome in order to simply play a show in which they have been invited.

—Emily Eddy, Guest Festival Shorts Programmer, MdFF 2021

Content Consideration: Discussion of violence, discussion of harassment

After the screening there will be a live virtual Q&A with the filmmakers including co-director, Ivaylo Getov; editor, Agustín Rexach Martín; co-director, Jeremy Ungar; and producer, Robin Ungar moderated by MdFF Executive Director, Sandra Gibson.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    80 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    Cuba, United States
  • Note
    Spanish with English subtitles
  • Director
    Jeremy Ungar, Ivaylo Getov
  • Screenwriter
    Jeremy Ungar, Ivaylo Getov, Agustín Rexach Martín
  • Producer
    Robin Miller Ungar
  • Cast
    Ana Josefina Hernández, Rosillo, Koset Muñoa Columbié, Maryoris Mena Faez, Koset Muoa Columbié, Annia del Toro Leyva
  • Cinematographer
    Ezequiel Casares, Ivaylo Getov
  • Editor
    Agustín Rexach Martín
  • Composer
    Dayramir González