The The Afro-Cuban Experience on Film: Last Rumba of Papa Montero and Other Films

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Cuba is in the news again. After more than 50 years of hostile interaction the United States and Cuba are poised to open embassies in Havana and Washington D.C.

Today, the Cuban population is more than 80% of African descent. Therefore, the Afro-Cubans have been deeply affected by the years of hostility between the two countries and will be in the long run very much favored by the new relations between the US and Cuba.

To learn more about the Afro-Cuban experience, we offer you "Afro-Cuba, Yesterday and Today," a 2 disc DVD that explores the Afro-Cuban reality and experience.


Set in the 1930s, during one of the most severe dictatorship the country suffered, this is a film that introduces the viewer to the life and death of Papá Montero, a famous rumbero, womanizer and violent man who was hated and loved by many.

The film is the portrait of a society that lives in the margins, the music, the dance, the women and the neighborhood all pertain to the lower echelons of the Havana society. The film also explores the connection between the characters in the film and their Orishas (Santeria).


The film is about a woman who lived a very short and intense life during very important years of the Cuban Revolution.

Sara Goméz was the first Afro-Cuban woman filmmaker that dedicated her career to study the Afro-Cuban Experience.

The film gives a voice to different members of Sara’s family and friends. We gradually get to see segments of her work, hear descriptions of her personality and, most of all, learn about Cuban society and the Afro-Cuban during the first very intense years of the revolution.  Through the film, we are also exposed to Cuba in the early 2000. So we get to know about the racial and social tensions in contemporary Cuba, thus exploring one of Sara’s most important topics: race relations in Cuba under a new political regime.

In an Essence Magazine article of April 2015, "A New Era For Afro-Cubans," Karen Rundlet writes: "Racism became acute after the 1990's in Cuba. [...] Two economies existed: a free market one for White Cubans and the old, broken socialist one for Black and mixed-race Cubans."   

It is not clear how things will change for Afro-Cubans in the near future.  "Afro-Cuba: Yesterday and Today" sheds a light on a recent past.


Other films about the Afro-Latino Experience available at are:

- Afro-Latino Music

- Good-Bye Momo

- Race and History in Brazil

- Desamores

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