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americo-paez

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful documentary but...., 13 June 2006
8/10

Rosie and her family did a wonderful job of outlining our history in a way that is exciting and informative. Even the dedicated historian might learn a thing or two from this film but what it offers most is a genuine 'feel' of the Puerto Rican experience in America. Sure, the PBS programs of Puerto Rico are more informative, but they lack the personal touch.

But here's whats wrong with the film... Though the Taino Indians were mentioned probably over a dozen times, their culture and history explained, the contribution of Africans to the island was sadly absent from the documentary. I am very happy that the more contemporary historical black figures such as Don Pedro Albizu Campos were celebrated in the film, but you'd think black folks did nothing but work until he came along. Much was said about resistance against Spain and about bomba music, but they forgot to mention that bomba is African music as it is interpreted in Puerto Rico and that it too was part of the resistance. No mention that those barriles (drums) were outlawed because they were part of the resistance.

There was an entertaining, if not slightly embarrassing section (if we can't laugh ourselves...) on Puerto Rican Spanish. They mentioned the Taino influence, they mentioned the English words that have crept in but surprisingly, failed to mention all the African words that make up Puerto Rican Spanish like 'bemba' meaning lips or mondongo which brings me to food. Yes, they mentioned the frituras and Puerto Rican cooking but failed to mention the many African influences that make up our daily meals from cuchifritos and mondongo to pasteles.

My final comment: It was a good piece. I applaud our sister Rosie Perez on her directorial debut and wish her the best of luck. I encourage you to see it if you haven't, see it again if you have.