[act-ma] 2/06 Jeronimo Film about Korean Cubans
cwelch at tecschange.org
Wed Feb 5 11:07:48 PST 2020
Thursday, February 6, 2020, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Belfer Case Study Room (S020), Harvard CGIS South Building, 1730
Cambridge Street, MA 02138
/Film Screening & Discussion with the Director; organized by the Harvard
Korean Association and co-sponsored by the David Rockefeller Center for
Latin American Studies and the Korea Institute at Harvard University/
*Joseph Hoo Juhn*
*About the Documentary*
Born in 1926 to Korean indentured servant parents in Cuba, Jeronimo
joins the Cuban revolution and crosses paths with Fidel Castro and Che
Guevara, before turning to his Korean roots and identity.
On December 28, 2015, I went to Cuba for one week of backpacking. To my
surprise, the first Cuban I met was a middle-aged Asian lady, who was
waiting for me at the airport to transport me to a hostel I booked only
several days before. As we hit the road, I got curious and asked about
her ethnic background. She told me that she was a fourth generation
Korean Cuban. Right then and there I knew that this trip was meant for
something much larger than cigar-smoking and mojito-drinking.
Having always been interested in the notion of Korean Diaspora – Koreans
outside of Korea forming their own communities while retaining their
identity – I was intrigued and excitedly asked many questions. Welcoming
such curiosity, the lady, Patricia Lim, invited me to her family's place
for the next day, to meet with her mother, son, brother and other
extended family members. Needless to say, this visit was the beginning
of a life-changing experience.
Patricia's mother, Cristina, then 87, sat me down and brought out dozens
of photo albums, sharing with me an epic tale of the family’s history.
Cristina's husband, Jeronimo Lim, who had passed away 10 years earlier,
was a revolutionary fighter in the Cuban revolution. He went to law
school with Fidel Castro and later worked with Che Guevara in the new
Cuban government. Yes, 'unbelievable' is the right word.
As I was listening to these adventures, I became overwhelmed with such a
sense of conviction that this story had to be shared with the world –
particularly those in Korea and Korean communities around the world.
So, I decided to make a feature-length documentary about the Lim family
and Koreans in Cuba at large. In August 2016, returned to Cuba for two
weeks with a wonderful film crew of five. We met with over one-hundred
Korean Cubans and interviewed over thirty of them to hear their accounts
of history. It was a trip that changed my life for certain and I can't
wait to share the untold stories of Koreans in Cuba with the public.
I believe that this film is of historic importance. I am doing this
without any outside help so any help you could provide, I am much
grateful for. I ask you to join me on this journey to discover one of
the most magical, dramatic and painful – yet beautiful – chapters of
modern Korean history. Indeed, a story as powerful as this one is needed
in a time like this.
- Joseph Juhn -
/The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo
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