They Are We (2014)
In Central Cuba, proud members of the Gangá-Longobá, a small Afro-Cuban ethnic group, have kept their unique heritage alive. Incredibly, through decades of brutal enslavement, independence wars, and then the denying of all religions after the revolution, they have retained a collection of distinct songs and dances that one of their ancestors brought from Africa as a slave. Each December 17th they still perform them at the San Lazaro ceremony. After a chance discovery while working in West Africa, director Emma Christopher spent two years showing a film of the Gangá-Longobá songs and dances to several thousand people across Sierra Leone. Eventually, in an isolated village with no road access, one man looked at another in joy and wonder as he watched a recording of the Gangá-Longobá songs and said, “THEY ARE WE!” Then the villagers joined in with others of the Gangá-Longobá songs, still recognizing them clearly despite all the years of separation. Returning to Cuba, Emma showed her findings to the Gangá-Longobá. In early 2013, after the law changed allowing them to freely leave Cuba, a trip was at last made to visit Sierra Leone. THEY ARE WE tells the story of the Gangá-Longobá and of the village their ancestor called home. It is the story of how, just very occasionally, a family separated by the slave trade can reunite for the good of all. Excerpt from Icarus Films website.
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