Contact Information
  • Librarian: Luis Gonzalez
  • Location: Herman B Wells Library E660
  • Phone: (812) 855-7416
Libraries & Subjects
last updated: 12/3/2013

Film: Caribbean

Regions: Latin America (general)Caribbean, Central America, South America, Hispanics in the U.S., Iberia
Special Topics: Authors & Artists, Environment, Indigenous Peoples, Music & Dance, Political Leaders, Women
Download a PDF of the complete bibliography

Countries: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia


El Alacrán = The Scorpion: un homenaje a Santos Ramírez, fundador de la comparsa “El Alacrán”. VHS, 20 min. GV1632.C9 A43 1999
Homage to Santos Ramírez, author of the 'comparsa' El Alacrán in 1938.


Beyond outcasts. VHS, 45min. B-ALF EC2731
Intended to heighten the Cuban public's awareness about AIDS and the consequences of the Cuban government's policy toward the disease.


Buena Vista Social Club. DVD, 105 min. M1681.C9 B846 1999
A group of legendary Cuban musicians perform and talk about their lives in Cuba and how they got started in music.


Cauri: la boca del santo – the voice of the saint. VHS, 27 min. BL2532.S3 C38 1996
About the Santeria religion and the magic of the "cauri," shells used by Santeria priests to translate messages from the Orishas (saints).


Crisis in Central America, No.2: Castro’s challenge. VHS, 60 min. B-ALF CC3313
Describes Fidel Castro's rise to power, his consolidation of the first communist state in the Americas, his support of revolution abroad, and the evolution of tensions with the U.S.


Crucible of an empire: the Spanish-American War, part 1 & 2. VHS, 120 min. B-ALF CC5747 pt. 1-2
[Part 1] Narration, archival photos, interviews, and journal excerpts explore the history of the Spanish-American War in Cuba and the Philippines. [Part 2] The American amphibious landing in Cuba, the Platt Amendment, and eventual Cuban independence in 1934.


Las cuatro hermanas. VHS, 15 min. HQ759.96 .C837 1998
A portrait of four sisters who decide to live in the Sierra Maestra mountains and never get married.


Cuba feliz. DVD 93 min. B-MUSIC Reserve 5883263
Follows Miguel del Morales, a 76 year-old troubadour known as El Gallo (The Rooster), as he wanders the countryside of Cuba.


Cuba: in the shadow of doubt. VHS, 58 min. B-ALF CC3617
Examines U. S.-Cuban relations in historical and economic contexts; shows Cuba's successes and failures by visiting the people, and institutions, such as a prison and a library.


Cuba: pictures from the revolution. DVD, 47 min. F1787.5 .C668 2004
Presents a pictorial timeline of Cuba and Castro's government as revealed by unreleased photographs and archival news footage.


Cuba: refugees and the economy. VHS, 25 min. B-ALF CC2889
Explores the economic development and political structure of Cuba, and focuses on the tens of thousands of Cuban citizens who have chosen to leave.


Cuba: their unique culture and volatile relationship with the United States. VHS, 42min. HN203 .C82 2001
Filmmaker Jeff Kaiser went to Cuba and was granted permission to explore the streets and document the unrestricted thoughts of the Cuban people.


Cuba, trading with the enemy. VHS, 30 min. B-ALF CC6161
Looks at contemporary Cuban society, including family attitudes about monogamy, Che Guevera's politics and economic changes.


Cubans. VHS, 52min. B-ALF CC4497
Portrays Cubans as they go about their daily lives thirty years after the revolution.


Dateline: 1961, Cuba. VHS, 23 min. B-ALF CC4207
Historical overview of the 60-year period of American domination in Cuba, detailing the economic and social conditions that led to the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro.


Dateline: 1962, Cuba. VHS, 23 min. B-ALF CC4208
On October 14, 1962, a U.S. spy plane discovered that Soviet nuclear missile bases were being readied in Cuba, beginning the two-week-long Cuban Missile Crisis.


Fidel: un filme. DVD, 90 min. F1788.22.C3 F5347 2007
VHS, F1788.22.C3 F534 2001
Biographical documentary about Fidel Castro, the history of the Cuban Revolution and Castro's fight to survive the post-Soviet period and the continued U.S. embargo.


Fidel Castro: big man, small island. DVD-R, 53 min. F1788.22.C3 F536 2002
Biography of Cuba's leader, from his law school days as a political activist through his standoff with President Kennedy over the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis up to the present day.


Fidel Castro: a life of revolution. DVD-R, 45 min. F1788.22.C3 F5353 2008
From his childhood in rural Cuba through his fight in the Sierra Maestra to winning the revolution and transforming the country, presents an account of the life and times of Fidel Castro.


Fond memories ofCuba = Buenas memorias de Cuba. DVD 62 min. F1788 .F65 2002
Documents the current economic, social and cultural realities and disappointments of post-revolutionary Cuba.


Great day in Havana. DVD 73 min. F1760 .G744 2003
Musicians, painters, sculptors, writers, and filmmakers reflect on Cuba's political climate, its African heritage, the ironies of tourism, and how to live with dignity in the face of the United States embargo.


Havana Nagila: the Jews in Cuba. VHS, 52 min. B-ALF CC5694
Traces the history of Jews in Cuba from the time of Christopher Columbus to the present day.


Inside Castro’s Cuba. VHS, 50 min. B-ALF CC5181
Presents the current economic and political situation in Cuba.


José Martí: Cuba’s herald. DVD-R, 28 min. PQ7389.M2 Z649 2004
Biographical film of the life of José Martí, 19th century Cuban author and political activist.


Leo Brouwer: Homoludens. DVD-PAL 90 min. B-MUSIC 7750076 DVDs
About Cuban composer Leo Brouwer and his 2005 recording "Homoludens".


Looking for a space: lesbians & gay men in Cuba = Buscando un espacio: los homsexuales en Cuba. VHS, 38 min. HQ57.6.C9 L665 1993
Examines the treatment of lesbians and gay men during the early years of the Cuban Revolution and the perspectives of current residents of Cuba on questions of political ideology and sexual identity.


Mauvaise conduite = Improper conduct. VHS, 110 min. F1788 .M438 1984
Among those considered "antisocial" by the Castro regime were political and artistic dissidents and homosexuals.


Model revolutionaries and worms. VHS, 42 min. B-ALF CC3947
Contrasts two views of Cuba through interviews with a "model revolutionary," the father of a young family in Havana, and with a "worm," a young Cuban in Miami who defected with his family in 1980.


A night in Havana: Dizzy Gillespie in Cuba. DVD 84 min. ML419.G5 N547 2005
Captures notable musical moments from Gillespie’s trip to Cuba, as well as quiet reflections on the importance of Afro-Cuban music to his art and sense of self.


Oficios de hombre = Men’s work. VHS, 15 min. HQ1090.7.C9 O355 1999
A loving portrait and visual poem depicting some of the tasks performed by men in the mountains of the Sierra Maestras.


Our house in Havana. VHS, 58 min. E184.C97 O875 2000
Follows a 68 year-old Cuban exile who returns to her homeland for the first time in almost 40 years.


La Promesa = The vow. DVD-R, 26 min. BT2320.5.C9 P766 2006
Chronicles the grueling pilgrimage one Cuban father endures to fulfill a vow he made to St. Lazarus for restoring the health of his young son.


Regreso = Going back. VHS, 57 min. F1788 .R386 1999 | B-ALF CC5855
Forced to leave Cuba as a young boy, filmmaker Luis Remesar returns after 38 years to re-connect with his father, family and culture he left behind.


Routes of rhythm. 3 VHS, 58 min/each. ML3477 .R68 1989 pt.1-3
Looks at the history of Afro-Cuban music and its influence on American culture through interviews with musicians, archival footage, and many performance clips.


Salud! DVD, 93 min. RA456.C7 S258 2006
Looks at the curious case of Cuba, a cash-strapped country with what the BBC calls 'one of the world's best health systems.'


Saving Elian. VHS, 60 min. E184.C97 S285 2001
Interviews of participants and observers on both sides of the controversy which erupted after a five-year-old Cuban boy was saved from the waters off Florida, precipitating a political and social firestorm.


Seres extravagantes = Odd people out. DVD-R, 54 min. PQ7390.A72 S474 2007
Documentary about the process of marginalization, repression and denial of the gay community during the first two decades of the Cuban Revolution, through the eyes of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas.


Sputnik, Cuba, Vietnam 1957-1968. VHS, 30 min. B-ALF CC6508
Covers the Gary Powers U-2 spy plane incident, the workings of both countries' intelligence systems, the Bay of Pigs, the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Teenage mothers, a global crisis. VHS, 56 min. HQ759.4 .T255 1990 | B-ALF EC2559
Looks at teenage motherhood in the world today by examining the phenomenon in four different socioeconomic cultures: Ghana, the United States, Cuba, and England.


El telón de azúcar = The sugar curtain. DVD-R, 80 min. F1788 .T335 2006
The filmmaker, who grew up in the "golden years" of the 1970s and 80s in Cuba, revisits the sites of her childhood and reminisces with former classmates.


The uncompromising revolution. VHS, 55 min. B-ALF CC5302
Explores Cuba's nationalization of American businesses, Castro's comments on Soviet aid and weapons, and his opinion on Cuba's role in Latin America, Nicaragua, and Angola.


Urban design and planning in Havana, Cuba: an historical perspective. VHS, 38 min. B-ALF CC5292
The social, political and geographic influences on Havana's urban design through three periods: colonial, from 1519-1898; neoclassical, from 1899-1958; and revolutionary, from 1959 to the present.


Voices of Cuba. VHS, 52 min. B-ALF CC6041
Documents recent changes in Cuban society.


Voices of the Orishas. VHS, 37 min. B-ALF CC5776
Ethnographic documentary demonstrates the survival and strength of the African cultural and religious heritage of Yoruba in the contemporary life of Caribbean African-Hispanics.


Dominican Republic


Abril: la trinchera del honor. DVD, 90 min. F1938.55 .A275 2005  
The documentary examines the events leading to the revolution of April 1965 and the U.S. intervention in the conflict.


Bachata: música del pueblo. VHS, 61 min. ML3486.D65 B334 2002  
Features performances and interviews with Bachata artists and ethnomusicologists in New York City and Santo Domingo.


Black sugar. VHS, 58 min. B-ALF CC3951
Exposes the gross mistreatment of Haitian laborers hired to cut cane on sugar plantations owned by the Dominican Republic State Sugar Council.


Caña y sudor. 4 DVD-R. TP375.8.D65 C363 2007  
The economic and social conditions of producing sugar cane in the Dominican Republic.


"Congo pa' ti" = Congo for you: (Afro)Latino identity in Dominican culture. DVD-R, 56 min. F1941.B55 C66 2004  
An exploration of Afro-Latina/o culture in the Dominican Republic, featuring interviews with artists and residents of the community of Villa Mella and others.


Dreams ensnared: Dominican migration. VHS, 22 min. B-ALF CC5895
Examines the emigration of Dominicans to New York to escape the poor socio-economic conditions in the Dominican Republic.


Fiestas de palos: el ritmo de la resistencia. DVD-R, 75 min. ML207.D6 F547 2006  
Los palos, or atabales, are a form of music and dance that originally came from Africa and have become part of the popular religious life of Dominicans.


El gagá de Similá. DVD 27min. ON-ORDER
Ethnographic presentation of the ceremonies of the socio-religious gagá cult, as practiced in Batey Colonia Tumba, during Lent and especially during Holy Week.


La herencia del tirano. DVD, 90 min. F1938.58.B34 H474 1998  
Relates the political events in the Dominican Republic between the death of Trujillo in 1961 and the inauguration of Bosch as president in 1963.


Historia del béisbol dominicano. DVD, 91 min. GV863.29.D65 H578 2006  
Covers the history of professional baseball in the Dominican Republic from 1891 to 1981.


El poder del jefe. 3 DVD, 250,min. F1938.5 .P634 2006
[1] Shows how the Trujillo Regime came to be in 1916 and ends with the Haitian Massacre of 1937 – [2] Dominicans in exile try to overthrow the dictatorship – [3]Describes the fall of the dictatorship.


The price of sugar. DVD, 90 min. (ON-ORDER)
Profiles the courageous Father Christopher Hartley, a Spanish priest who travels to the Dominican Republic to stop a modern-day slavery operation.


Sueños atrapados: la migración dominicana a Neuva York. DVD-R, 22 min. JV7395 .S84 1994  
Discusses the mass immigration to the United States from the Dominican Republic due to the poor economic conditions there.


La violencia del poder. DVD, 126 min. F1938.58.B34 V565 2003  

Examines Joaquin Balaguer's presidency through commentary, newsreels and newspaper headlines.




Black sugar. VHS, 58 min. B-ALF CC3951
Exposes the gross mistreatment of Haitian laborers hired to cut cane on sugar plantations owned by the Dominican Republic State Sugar Council.


Buying the spirits: voodoo in Haiti. VHS, 52 min. B-ALF CC6473
Documents the significance of voodoo practice and ritual in Haitian culture, society, and identity.


Children of shadows. VHS, 54 min. HD6250.H22 C555 2001
The film follows the restavèk children of Haiti as they go through their daily chores. In heartbreaking interviews, the children speak openly and shyly about the lives they are forced to lead.


Desounen: dialogue with death. VHS, 53 min. HV640.5.H2 D47 | B-ALF CC5153
Interviews with Haitians concerning the years of economic and political chaos in Haiti which have led to a mass exodus of Haitians trying to reach the United States.


Divine horsemen: the living gods of Haiti. VHS, 52 min. BL2530.H3 D472 1985 | BL2530.H3 D474 1990| ISS CB3605
Documents the Voodoo religion of Haiti in black and white film taken during 1947-1951by anthropologist Maya Deren.


Dreamers: the painters of Haiti. VHS, 58 min. B-ALF CC6301
Explores the naive painting of elderly Haitians such as Andre Pierre, Philome Obin, Prospere Pierre Louis, Louisiane Saint-Fleurant, and Salnave Philippe-Auguste.


Failing Haiti. DVD, 58 min. F1928.2 .F356 2005
From sources working in Haiti with the government, rebel insurgents, and convicted drug smugglers, the film follows the violent events leading to the departure of President Aristide.


Grande Saline. VHS, 26 min. B-ALF CC4133
Set in the village of Grande Saline, Haiti, demonstrates a solution to a basic problem in many developing nations--that of supplying potable water.


Haiti: komm sa ta dweye. VHS, 26 min. F1918 .H354 1993
Traces the history of Haiti from the arrival of the Spanish colonials in 1492 to the present day.


Haitian pilgrimage. VHS, 29 min. B-ALF CC4825
Explores the personal perspectives of two married teachers and one of their daughters as they return to Haiti from the United States in order to make a pilgrimage.


North-South monologue. VHS, 58 min. B-ALF CC4136
In an attempt to understand the relationship between developed and developing nations, a Canadian journalist and a filmmaker travel to Haiti, a popular investment site of multinational companies.


Port-au-Prince is mine. VHS, 57 min. F1929.P8 P67 2000
A portrait of the city and its problems: overpopulation, lack of urban infrastructure and environmental degradation.


Profit & nothing but, or, impolite thoughts on the class struggle. VHS, 57 min. HC153 .P75 2001
The filmmaker contrasts the rhetoric of capitalism with the reality of his native land, Haiti.


Voodoo and the church in Haiti. VHS, 40 min. BL2490 .V663 1988b | B-ALF CC4006
Presents the people of Haiti, the religion and rituals of Voodoo, the inclusion of Christian images in the Voodoo worship and the conflict between Christians, Catholics and Voodooists.


Puerto Rico


The Battle of Vieques. VHS, 40 min. B-ALF CC5398
Documents the effect the presence of the U.S. Navy has had on economic development of Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico.


Booted Out! VHS, 28 min. B-ALF BC0417
Explains the tax incentive that enables a company to operate in Puerto Rico, put a “Made in the USA” label on its goods, but pay no federal corporate income tax.


The Borinqueneers. DVD, 78 min. UA29 65th .B675 2007  
Chronicles the story of the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment, the only all-Hispanic unit in U.S. Army history.


Dialogando sobre independentismos: entre votos, consignas y trincheras. DVD-R. F1971 .D535 2006
History of the movements and parties advocating Puerto Rican independence from 1890 to 1959. [Part 1 only]


The double life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez. VHS, 54 min. HV8886.U5 D683 1999  
The odyssey of Guillermo Morales Pagán, the son of Puerto Rican freedom fighters Dylcia Pagán and William Morales.


Las huellas de Nilita. VHS, 80 min. PQ7439.V5 H845 2002  
Documents the life and works of noted journalist and writer, Nilita Vientós Gaston.


Juan Mari Brás. DVD-R, 120 min. F1976.3.M37 A5 2005
Political leader and lawyer Juan Mari Brás narrates both his political and personal life.


The King does not lie: the initiation of a priest of Shango. VHS, 44 min. BL2532.S5 K564 1992  
Shows the ritual and ceremony associated with the initiation of a priest of Shango, the Thunder god of the traditional Yoruba religion. Takes place in a contemporary Puerto Rican community.


Luchando por la vida: las despalilladoras de tabaco y su mundo. DVD-R, 40 min. HD6073.T62 L834 2007  Documents the role of women in the tobacco industry of Puerto Rico.


Mi Puerto Rico. VHS, 90 min. F1960 .M6 1997 | B-ALF CC5300 
Tells the stories of Puerto Rico’s revolutionaries, abolitionists, poets and politicians, whose struggle for national identity unfolds within the history of relations between Puerto Rico and the United States.


Mujeres viequenses, cruzando fronteras. DVD-R, 20 min. E183.8.P9 M847 2000  
The Vieques Women's Alliance raises awareness of the problems the U.S. Navy has caused during 60 years of military maneuvers in Vieques.


El mundo costero de Samuel Lind. DVD, 24 min. N6614.L56 A35 2006  
Captures the colors, music and culture that inspire the art of Samuel Lind, an Afro-Puerto Rican painter, graphic artist, sculptor, and activist.


La operación. VHS, 40 min. B-WELLS ISS CC5310
Examines the practice of sterilization of women as a means of population control in Puerto Rico.


Luisa Capetillo: pasión de justicia. VHS, 40 min. HQ1522 .C37 L854 1993 | B-ALF CC5381
Dramatic portrayal of the life of feminist Luisa Capetillo in late 19th and early 20th century Puerto Rico.


Orgullo en Puerto Rico = Pride in Puerto Rico. DVD-R, 17 min. HQ76.965.G38 O74 2007
Documents the Eighth Annual Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Transsexual (1999) in Puerto Rico.


The Ox Cart. VHS, 30 min. B-ALF CC5380
Selected scenes from playwright Rene Marques' "La Carreta" in conjunction with a look at the poor living conditions for recent Spanish-speaking immigrants in a major metropolitan area of the U.S.


Plena is work, Plena is song. VHS, 30 min. B-ALF RC1747
Explains the genesis of "La Plena," a type of Puerto Rican folk music that embodies stories of life events.


Puerto Rico: a colony the American way. VHS, 37 min. B-ALF CC5379
Analyzes Puerto Rico’s economic and political status.


Puerto Rico: art and identity. VHS, 56 min. B-ALF RC1756
Explores 20th century Puerto Rican art, focusing on the artists' search for an expression of national identity.


Puerto Rico: paradise invaded. VHS, 30 min. B-ALF CC5303
Examines the history and present-day reality of Puerto Rico, including the history and the contemporary relationship between the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States.


Roberto Clemente. DVD, 54 min. GV865.C45 R632 2008  
Tells the story of an exceptional baseball player and committed humanitarian, who challenged racial discrimination to become baseball's first Latino superstar.


Los Santos Reyes. DVD, 26 min. BR645.P7 S267 2001  
Captures the "promesa de reyes" (Holy Kings promise) of various families on the island, in Las Marías, in Patillas in Aguadilla, Vieques and Dorado as well as the famous procession of Juana Diaz on January 5.


Tengo un coco con Piñones = I got a coco with piñones. DVD-R, 58 min. F1958 .T464 2007  
Documents the struggle against privatization and the local initiative to find a balanced development that includes the rich Afro-Puertorrican cultural traditions of Piñones.


Yo soy Boricua, pa'que tu lo sepas! = I'm Boricua, just so you know! DVD, 85 min. F1971 .Y6 2007  
Rosie Perez explores the complex history between Puerto Rico and the United States.


St. Luica


Derek Walcott. VHS, 29 min. B-ALF EC2403
Bill Moyers interviews Caribbean poet and teacher Derek Walcott who discusses the language of poetry, the language of politics, and the story of Robinson Crusoe as metaphor.


Derek Walcott: the poetry of place. DVD-R, 54 min. PR9272.9.W3 Z643 2001
The host of the South bank show (television, UK) interviews and speaks about Derek Walcott, concerning his poetry and his life.

last updated: 12/3/2013