Documentary series Hermanas de Corazón to premiere

Documentary series Hermanas de Corazón to premiere

The documentary series Hermanas de Corazón, directed by Gloria Rolando, will premiere on Thursday, May 11, at the 23 y 12 Cinema in the capital, where the second and third episodes, Las novias de Dios and Los ángeles de la memoria, respectively, will be shown.

The audiovisual, winner of the Caracol Grand Prize of the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists -UNEAC- in 2022, tells little-known aspects of the history of education in Cuba, featuring black girls who wanted to enter religious life but could not do so in Cuba and had to travel to Baltimore to begin, said the filmmaker in an interview with the Cubacine portal.

The documentary traces the origins of the Oblate Sisters of Providence and, in another part, narrates the work of this order in the largest archipelago of the Antilles. The arrival of the Order and its schools in several provinces took place at the beginning of the 20th century. Although its founder, Mother Mary Lange, had already died, the work continued with the same essence: the education of black girls and adolescents. For Gloria, it was important to preserve this design because the historical information is rich and fascinating.

These nuns were very famous, loved and respected, they promoted a general education based on the models of the Catholic Church, and they helped their students prepare for domestic and professional life.

Hermanas de Corazón closely examines the history of the Colegio San José in the city of Cárdenas, an institution dedicated to the promotion of education before 1959.  It also highlights the spontaneity of the testimonials, in «a mixture of joy, nostalgia and sadness.’’

The instrumentals of the series were composed by excellent musicians such as Miguelito Núñez; Tony Ávila composed Mis flores negras de San José, the main theme of the documentary, with the Vocal Baobab group.

In an interview with Cubacine, Gloria Rolando also thanked the important collaboration of Alden Knight, Menfesí Eversley and Laura González in the narration, as well as the photography of Erik Delgado, among many other people who were indispensable in making this 43-minute film a reality.

He also appreciated the help of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (Icaic in Spanish), which allowed the filming to take place in Matanzas, and its animation studios, which made it possible to record the voices of the narrators on location.

Gloria Rolando, director of such important documentaries as Oggún: un eterno presente and 1912. Voces para un silencio has become a reference in national and international cinematography for dealing with the importance of black cultures in Cuban society.

The documentary series is the result of the research that this remarkable director conducted in the Caribbean archipelago and in the United States on the presence in Cuba of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first Catholic order of black nuns founded in 1829 in Baltimore, United States.

The Riviera Cinema will show the first episode of the series starting May 12: Colegio San José; from May 18 to 21, the theater itself will present episodes two and three.

Translated by Luis E. Amador Dominguez


Alicia Soto Smith