Director Jon Alpert in attendance

Sun, May 22nd 2:30pm
Hollywood Theatre

Audience members will enjoy a short performance from members of Melao de Cuba (including Virginia Lopez and Mieke Bruggeman) just prior to both films on Sunday. Performing since December 2005, Melao transforms elements of Afro-Cuban and Spanish music into a vibrant, danceable, spirit-lifting experience.

With chants of “Socialism Yes! Homophobia No!”, Cuban congresswoman Mariela Castro leads Havana’s annual parade celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Daughter of President Raul, and niece of Fidel, the straight, married mother of three has been using her position, name and irrepressibly buoyant personality to bring
about legal protections and social acceptance for Cuba’s LGBT community.

The Cuban Revolution forbade displays of homosexuality, homosexual acts and associating with homosexuals. In Jon Alpert’s revealing documentary, we find ample testimony of this discrimination, including a gay man forced to work in labor camps and a lesbian kicked off the national tennis team. Confronting the decades of cultural and institutional homophobia, Mariela tirelessly advocates for the rights of LGBT Cubans. Resolute in her cause, she recalls, “I decided to fight this prejudice knowing that in Cuba’s macho society it would be difficult, even if your last name is Castro.”

Preceded by Mamis. A Family Portrait. With access to adoption and assisted reproduction prohibited, lesbians face extra challenges as they contemplate motherhood. Virginia Fuentes’ illuminating film confirms that, in Cuba, there is often a way around the rules.

Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution: Dir Jon Alpert 2015 USA 39 min
Mamis. A Family Portrait.: Dir Virginia Fuentes 2013 UK/Cuba/Spain 20 min
Community Partners: World Affairs Council of Oregon & Portland Latino Gay Pride & Melao de Cuba