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"The Black Creoles" will be released in Managua

Cinthia Membreño | Aug 11, 2011

Promotional image of the documentary.

The challenges, dreams and daily lives of the Nicaraguan African descendants from the Caribbean Coast will be shown in this documentary.

The 90-minute documentary which tells the untold story of the Nicaraguan African descendants of the Caribbean Coast will be released on Thursday, August 18th, in the city of Managua, after being released in the coastal cities of Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi) and Bluefields. “The Black Creoles: Memories and Identities”, a film that collects several testimonies about ancestral customs, dreams and challenges of the national African descendants, will be screened for a week at Cinemas Galerias Santo Domingo and will be later presented in several universities.

María José Álvarez, Nicaraguan filmmaker and director of this documentary along with Martha Clarissa Hernández, declared that the idea of making this film came up after a talk she had with her husband, who is also an African descendant. “We always talk about Mikistos, Mayagnas, Garifunas and their relation with drugs, but not about the important role they played in the history of the Caribbean Coast,” she stated.

According to Álvarez, the project started in 2003, which is when she shared the idea to Martha Clarissa Hernández. From that moment, both of them started the investigation and fund collecting process. Álvarez informed that the objective of the film is to include the untold story of the inhabitants of the Caribbean Coast on people's minds. “We had two years of filming, traveling, time and money investment,” she explained.

The first two presentations had a positive evaluation by the Caribbean community. One of them was held at the Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University (Bluefields), on May 27. Nine hundred people attended this event and, therefore, organizers had to make another presentation on the same day. “We didn't make a third one because it was too late at night”, she declared. Furthermore, Álvarez stated that 350 people attended the second one, which was held in Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi).

The director expressed that “The Black Creoples: Memories and Identities” was filmed in Bluefields, Pearl Lagoon (RAAS), Karatá and Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi). Both directors made two important discoveries during the filming process. One of them was that the towns of Puerto Limon and Puerto Viejo has to be included during the shoot, since some African descendants moved there and maintained their culture. The second one, on the other hand, was that they had to divide the material they recorded about Garifunas in order to make a separate documentary. “Its release will be held in four or five months. Our idea is to show it to all the Garifuna communities,” she reported.

As we mentioned previously, the release of this documentary will be held on August 18, at 7:00 pm, at Cinemas Galerias Santo Domingo (Km 7 Carretera a Masaya). There will not be an entrance fee and attendees will be allowed to get in until the theater is full. After this presentation, “The Black Creoles..” will be screened in the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua(UNAN – Managua), Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) and Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua (UPOLI). Since organizers have not yet confirmed the screening schedule, specific details will be given in the near future.