[act-ma] 2/06 Jeronimo Film about Korean Cubans

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Wed Feb 5 11:07:48 PST 2020

  Film Screening:


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*
Film Director

*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 -


*Related Articles*

/The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo 

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