Now PlayingPreview | Unfinished Spaces
This four-part series showcases Latino artists, athletes and performers. The series, in its third year, celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. From the housing projects of Brooklyn to a Mexican wrestling ring, from the ranches of California to the crumbling beauty of Castro’s Cuba.
The lineup includes “Tales of Masked Men,” a look at the world of a Mexican “lucha libre,” famous for its masked wrestlers and “Escaramuza: Riding From the Heart,” about a team of women rodeo riders vying to represent the U.S. at the National Charro Championships in Mexico.
The third documentary, “Unfinished Spaces,” tells the story of the Cuban Revolution through Cuba’s National Schools of Art and the three visionary men who designed it, while “Lemon,” follows Puerto Rican poet/performer Lemon Andersen, a three-time felon and one-time Tony Award winner, as he struggles to bring his life story to the New York stage while battling his darkest demons.
About the Films
Rebel (Premiered Friday, May 24, 2013)
At the outset of the American Civil War, a teenager paid a tailor to make a soldier's uniform. Harry T. Buford fought as an officer in the battle of First Bull Run, was wounded at Shiloh, then served as a secret agent for the Confederacy. But Buford harbored a secret for which he could have been court-martialed or worse: his real name was Loreta Janeta Velazquez. Loreta, a Cuban immigrant, was a woman not only ahead of her time, she was ahead of ours — the American military has only recently cleared women for combat yet Loreta was one of the estimated thousand women who secretly soldiered during the American Civil War over a hundred and fifty years ago. Why has her story been erased from the history books?
Lemon (Premiered Friday, October 19, 2012)
When Lemon Andersen held a Tony Award in his hands for his work in Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, it was close to a miracle. This poet and performer was a three-time felon who’d achieved more than anyone could have ever imagined. But when the show closed, he lost everything and moved his wife and two small daughters back to the projects. In desperation, he turned to the only thing he had left — his pen and his past. Lemon follows his journey to take his life story to the New York stage while battling his darkest demons. Lemon was co-produced and directed by Laura Brownson and Beth Levison.
Unfinished Spaces (Premiered Friday, October 12, 2012)
In 1961, in the heady first days of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro asked three visionary architects to build the Cuban National Arts Schools on what had been the golf course of a country club. Before construction was completed, the Revolution became Sovietized, and suddenly the project was denounced as bourgeois and counter-revolutionary. By considering the buildings, Unfinished Spaces looks at the ever-shifting history of Castro’s Cuba and follow the fates of the three architects, now in their 80s, who may get a second chance to revitalize their utopian project. Unfinished Spaces was co-produced and co-directed by Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray.
Escaramuza: Riding From the Heart (Premiered Friday, October 5, 2012)
Las Azaleas are a team of women rodeo riders vying to represent the U.S. at the National Charro Championships in Mexico — where “to be Charro is to be Mexican.” Escaramuza, or skirmish, describes both the daredevil horseback ballets, ridden sidesaddle at top speed, and the intensity of the competition season. Escaramuza: Riding from the Heart was co-produced by Robin Rosenthal and Bill Yahraus.
Tales of Masked Men (Premiered Friday, September 28, 2012)
The first of four documentaries looks at “lucha libre” and its role in Latino communities in the United States and Mexico. Part circus and part athletic contest, the sport -- famous for its masked wrestlers — provides a sense of “home” for new immigrants in the United States. It also continues to expand and build on its unique cultural tradition in countries where it enjoys enduring popularity. Tales of Masked Men was produced and directed by Carlos Avila and co-produced and edited by Thom Calderón.