April 1st: Families of Prisoners (From Latin America, U.S.A and Locally)

Posted: February 15, 2015 in Uncategorized


Location: London Public Library – 251 Dundas St (Stevenson Hunt Room)
Sponsored by: LACASA, INSPP and Prisoners’ Justice Film Festival

The festival takes place on the lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabek, Huron-Wendat, and Attawandaron Peoples. All events are free (donations welcome), wheelchair accessible, and scent-reduced—please do not use or wear scented products, including essential oils.

Families of Prisoners

Families of prisoners are often the ‘unseen wounded’ in the wake of the Prison Industrial Complex. Families are punished, ostracized, shamed, discriminated against, stigmatized and forced into poverty. Angela Davis speaks of the gendered violence in relation to the number of women that are affected by the PIC because when you walk into any prison it is women who are visiting, bringing in children and holding together the families in the community. Join us to watch the film The Cuban Wives. A story of “women, wives, mothers, Cubans, revolutionaries who have not lost hope that they will one day be able to hold their loved ones in their arms again.” The good news is that the Cuban Wives hopes were realized and they were able to reunite with their loved ones in January of this year, thanks to a change of policy in the US and an international solidarity movement

Liliany Obando, renowned Colombian trade unionist, documentary filmmaker, academic and human rights defender. Liliany was taking into custody by Colombian authorities in 2008. As a political prisoner, Liliany will be talking about the effects of incarceration and house arrest on her and her family.

The Cuban Wives:


The first time I heard about the Cuban five was in May of 2010. At that time I was directing for a series of conferences focusing on human rights issues, and I was invited to a conference at the Cuban Embassy in Rome. The initiatiative centered around the legal case of the “5”, especially around the situation faced by two of the wives who had not been given visas for the United States, and therefore were unable to visit their loved ones. When I met Rene Gonzales’ wife Olga Salanueva, and Gerardo Hernandez’s wife Adriana Perez I was profoundly moved by their story and decided in that moment that it is absolutely necessary to tell their story.

With their husbands absent for 12 years, Olga and Adriana are still living that unconditional and pure sentiment that each one of us hopes to experience at least once in our life time: love. These women, wives, mothers, cubans, revolutionaries, have not lost hope that they will one day be able to hold their loved ones in their arms again. This is the sentiment from which the film was born. Unravelling in an intimate family atmosphere “The Cuban Wives” will be a film about love and resistance.

Cuba is the setting for this story, but on a sentimental level the film could be anywhere and reach out to anyone who has loved and suffered separation from their loved ones. The direction of the film is based on two driving factors, an intimate human contact with the protagonists of this story, underlining the battle and political commitment that they are continually engaged in not only in Cuba but all over the world.

Alberto Antonio Dandolo


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