The Harvard Cubans (Los cubanos de Harvard) is a documentary film produced by the Cuba Studies Program and directed by Danny González Lucena. Following the premiere screening of the film, a question-and-answer session will be held with the director. Please note the 58-minute film is in Spanish with English subtitles. Reception to follow.
In the year 1900, more than half of all Cuban public school teachers boarded five American military ships to participate in a Summer School organized by Harvard University. For the first time, the oldest higher education institution in the United States opened its doors to 1,273 people born in a foreign country. The purpose of the trip was to teach them about modern methods in pedagogy and to show them the great advances of American society. The people of Cambridge, convinced that this Expedition would aid in the reconstruction of Cuba after the ravishing wars for independence in Cuba, contributed over $70,000 to finance the visit. In turn, Harvard offered Summer School courses free of charge to the nearly 1,300 teachers. The educational project was not only a resounding success, but it also became the largest cultural exchange that has ever existed between the two countries, and was widely covered in the press at the time. In spring 2016, Cuban journalist and documentarian Danny González Lucena conducted archival research, interviews and filming at Harvard, culminating in the production of the documentary Los cubanos de Harvard (The Harvard Cubans).
About the Director
Danny González Lucena is a journalism graduate of the University of Havana. He currently works as a cultural journalist on Cuban television, where he specializes in music. He has also been involved in issues related to heritage conservation and folk traditions, with several international special reports. His work as a filmmaker includes the titles: Por qué luchamos (2011), dedicated to the life and work of the Saíz brothers; La Perla de Oriente (2016), which investigates little-known aspects of Guantanamo musician Lilí Martínez; and Los cubanos de Harvard (The Harvard Cubans) (2017).