WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ - Award-winning filmmaker María Agui Carter brings her film Rebel; a documentary about Cuban immigrant, Loreta Janeta Velazquez, a female soldier of the American Civil War to Monmouth University’s Pollak Theatre on Monday, March 7 at 7:00 pm. The film is free and open to the public. There will be a Q&A with Agui Carterimmediately following the screening.
One of the thousand women said to have fought in the Civil War, Loretta Janeta Velazquez altered her sex, ethnicity, and identity in order to become a Confederate soldier spy and double agent for the Union, only to be dismissed as a hoax after revealing her story in her scandalous 1876 memoir, The Woman in Battle. REBEL is a detective story about a woman, a myth, and the politics of national memory. Writer and director Maria Agui Carter worked on this film for over a decade with historians and archivists to uncover the story behind the myth. As a Latina woman filmmaker, and an immigrant to the US herself, she was compelled to tell the story of this woman who refused to be constrained by the gender and ethnic prejudices of her time to take part in a pivotal moment of American history. Only one photograph of Loreta existed, and Agui Carter used dramatic feature scenes to bring Loreta Velazquez’ memoir, A Woman In Battle, to life in film. REBEL is a retelling of an amazing life story, but it also asks us to think about the manufacturing of history and about who gets to tell our national history when there are competing perspectives in a diverse culture. The film plays with the concepts of archival and recreation stills and footage, with the printed word, and with the director’s own interpretations and re-envisioning of one woman’s life and times to force audiences to think critically about what they thought the “evidence” told them, even visual evidence such as archival stills, about their history.
Agui Carter immigrated to the U.S. from Ecuador, grew up an undocumented "Dreamer," and graduated from Harvard University. She been a grantee of, and has served as a panelist and juror for institutions including film festivals and organizations such as ITVS, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has won a George Peabody Gardner, a Warren, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting/PBS fellowship, and a Rockefeller Fellowship, among others, and has served as a visiting scholar/artist at Harvard, Tulane and Brandeis universities. She is a trustee of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and on the Advisory Board of the Filmmaker's Collaborative. Agui Carter has been a working member of the Writer's Guild since 2000. Her new play 14 Freight Trains opened to excellent reviews at Arena Stage in Washington, DC in fall of 2014. Her new script about an undocumented teen code-writer enamored of the Monarch butterfly called The Secret Life of La Mariposa, was a Sundance Screenwriter's Lab finalist. She is currently developing a documentary on immigration called Mother Land.
The event is sponsored by Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts, The Department of Communication and the Gender Studies Program and is part of the “On Screen: In Person” film series, which brings six films and filmmakers to Monmouth University as part of a tour of the Eastern seaboard. On Screen: In Person is made possible by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Touring Program.
Event: Rebel with post-screening Q&A with the filmmaker María Agui Carter
Date: Monday, March 7, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Where: Pollak Theatre, Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, NJ
Sponsored By: Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts
Cost: FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Box Office: www.monmouth.edu/arts or call 732-263-6889