Visualizing Cuba, Three Ways

Visualizing Cuba, Three Ways

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On December 17, 2014, President Obama of the United States and President Raul Castro of Cuba simultaneously announced easing of restrictions on travel between the two countries.

That set out a landslide of articles in the general and travel news media touting Cuba as “the” place for Americans to head on vacation.

And President Obama himself visited Cuba earlier this year.

(White House Photo)

Cuba, a glamorous tropical magnet for tourists from the U.S. in the days before the Castro-led revolution of the late 1950s installed a Communist government friendly to the Soviet Union, but hostile to America, is beginning to reprise that role.

What did Cuba look like “back in the day,” what does it look like now, and how might it look in the future to Americans, Cubans, and Cuban-Americans?

Three films address those questions.

Cuba, Libre? is a feature-length documentary traces the history of travel to Cuba by Americans from the early decades of the 20th century to the present day through archival film footage and interviews of five travel writers who have visited the island nation since 1992. It has aired on public access television, screened at a film festival in April, and is under consideration at ten other film festivals to be held in the U.S. later this year.


36 Hours in Havana, a New York Times video, presents a colorful overview of Cuban life and culture.


Finally, in Craving Cuba, Cuban-American documentary filmmaker, Zuzy Martin Lynch, tells a “powerful story about the American Dream and yearning – for freedom, for country, and for identity across 4 generations on both sides of The Florida Straits,” and has been on this year’s film festival circuit.


(A free screening ofCuba, Libre?” will take place at the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library at 6: p.m. on August 4, 2016. Filmmaker and Tales Told From The Road publisher, Dick Jordan, and travel writers whom he interviewed for the film, will conduct a Question & Answer session after the screening. You can keep up with the film and its future screenings on the film’s Facebook page, its Twitter feed, or its Official Website. You can learn more about “Craving Cuba” on its Facebook page, and follow it on Twitter.

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