Screen “Las Carpetas” with Visiting Director and Producer Maite Rivera Carbonell

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St John Film Society (SJFS) announces the screening of “Las Carpetas” (The Files) at 7:30 pm at St John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay. Maite Rivera Carbonell, director and producer, will be present to discuss the film.

“Las Carpetas,” a 2011 documentary, examines a painful chapter in Puerto Rico’s history in which secret police, supported by the FBI, spied and persecuted those who disagreed with the government. For decades, the collected information was classified in archives known as “the files”. An entire network was set up so “subversives”, were denied certain jobs through which they could exert influence or authority (police, university, journalism). Those who already had jobs were hounded until they resigned and many citizens were forced to emigrate since they could not find jobs in Puerto Rico. When the existence of the files became known in 1987, the practice known as “the carpeteo” was declared unconstitutional. It wasn’t until 1992 that 15,000 files were officially returned to the persecuted citizens, opening a Pandora’s Box of painful memories.

The film’s main characters, Pupa, Miguel, Ismael and Norma, are ordinary citizens, workers, and heads of household that were persecuted for defending causes that ran counter to the interests of the government. Through their testimony, the documentary exposes the humane side of a political story and the extent of persecution on families, workers, professionals and students.

Maite Rivera CarbonelI, the film’s director explains, “Our four characters talk about their experiences and what they went through, as an example of how many Puerto Ricans endured this persecution and how the agents inquired and even infiltrated in their lives. This documentary not only looks in depth a national situation, but also the humane side, which is universal. It brings forth our rights as thinking persons, our individual and collective rights as people and nation. It’s an alert to all to never allow their government to control them.”

Maite Rivera Carbonell is a renowned Puerto Rican sound editor. She is a two-time winner of the Goya Award for Best Sound for her work in the feature films, “The Others” by Alejandro Amenábar and “Tres Días” by Javier Gutiérrez.

Carbonell is the writer and director of the short film La Nota Final, which has won international awards. She graduated from the International Film and Television School (EICTV) in Cuba, where she annually works as advisor.

SJFS thanks St. John Inn for their accommodations donation and E&C Gas for their raffle prize donation.

SJFS will screen the film on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at St John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay at 7:30 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $5.

SJFS is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Virgin Island Council on the Arts and St John Community Foundation. For more information contact St. John Film Society at stjviff@gmail.com.