Menu

 

MAESTRA

Director/Producer: Catherine Murphy

View Full Film on Kanopy (Free)
View 8 - Minute Version (Free)
Purchase MAESTRA
Rent on Demand

Cuba, 1961: 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year. 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old. Over half were women.

 

MAESTRA explores this story through the personal testimonies of the young women who went out to teach literacy in rural communities across the island - and found themselves deeply transformed in the process.

 

 .............................................................................................................

“A Year Without Sundays”

A year without sundays

Authors: Catherine Murphy and Carlos Torres Cairo

Edited by Esther Perez and produced by Lilian Lombera with an Introduction by Nancy Morejon

Published by Aurelia Ediciones & The Literacy Project, 2014. 

Purchase “A Year Without Sundays”

This photography book captures the images of the 1961 Literacy Campaign, freeing Cuba from illiteracy and setting the stage for further achievements in education, science, the arts, and the overall development of Cuban society. The bilingual book (English and Spanish) includes numerous archival photographs from the period, accounts from participants, an introductory essay by the great Cuban poet and Campaign participant Nancy Morejon, and a DVD of selected moments from the film Maestra.

...............................

 

“This film brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. It is beautiful.”
Alice Walker

Writer and Peacemaker, Pulitzer Prize Winner, Author of "The Color Purple"

 ............................

“The Cuban Literacy Campaign is an important but little-known chapter in the history of the Americas. Catherine Murphy has created a project with rare and intimate access to this history. Her documentary MAESTRA brings together moving interviews with living witnesses, beautiful archival film footage, and Catherine's compelling storytelling. Based on personal testimonies of teachers and students from the campaign, her film will preserve the oral histories of a generation that will soon be gone. The historical significance of this archive -and its lessons for the present- cannot be overstated.””
Howard Zinn

Historian, Author of "The Peoples History of the United States"

............................

“Catherine Murphy's project rescues the most important literacy experience in the Americas. Her protagonists share their own experiences, each telling a formidable collective adventure. Catherine has dedicated her time, energy and talent to this project. The result, I am certain, will rise to the challenge.””
Eduardo Galeano

Uruguayan Writer and Journalist, Author of "The Open Veins of Latin America"

............................

“Catherine Murphy's film shares this story of a nation overcoming illiteracy, showing that great things are possible when people organize and work together. I believe this film will make a significant contribution to our understanding of our neighbor nation of Cuba -as well as literacy itself- and serve as an important tool in the struggle for justice.””
Dolores Huerta

Co-founder of the United Farm Workers, President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation

 ............................