Sunday, December 13, 7:30 PM
USA, 2019, 90 min, English
Jewish soul and Cuban song meet on the dance floor in this
nostalgic look back at the jubilant mambo phenomenon that swept the nation in the Fifties. Seeking a diversion after the war, Jewish Americans fell head over heels for the hot-blooded mix of sultry, infectious Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms coming from Havana. The mambo’s rise is traced from Cuba to its peak popularity in neon-splashed New York, the art deco hotels of Miami Beach, and the resorts of the Catskills. Against an upbeat big band soundtrack, the free-spirited mamboniks of yesteryear reunite to spin colorful tales, recalling their love affair with the Cuban dance craze, and their kinship with diverse cultures at a time of racial segregation and anti-Semitism. With an infectious soundtrack including Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and mambo king Pérez Prado, this film explores a mostly unexamined aspect of Jewish life and culture. Director: Lex Gillespie
Discussion led by Film Director Lex Gillespie
Lex Gillespie is an independent radio and television producer in Washington, D.C., with an emphasis on music, culture, travel, and history. His topics range from the music of the Andes, to the disappearing American cowboy, to a profile of four Latina students competing in Chicago's high school science fair. He produced the series Let the Good Times Roll, a 26-hour documentary series on rhythm and blues music that won a Peabody award in 2005. He also served as a producer with Smithsonian Productions at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History on the series Jazz Singers and Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was.
Sponsor: Jewish Federation of NENY