Film | Sunday, Mar 6, 2016 | 4:00 PM | $5
Loreta Janeta Velazquez was a 19th century woman of many disguises. Havana-born and New Orleans-raised, she was a rebel from the start, a precocious Cuban tomboy who idolized Joan of Arc. One of the 400 women said to have fought in the Civil War, she altered her sex, her ethnicity, and her very identity in order to become a Confederate soldier (alias Lieutenant Harry Buford) and spy, and then exposed her secret in a memoir, The Woman in Battle, which chronicles her often tragic life. Yet for the last 150 years, her story has been dismissed as a hoax. Rebel unlocks this mystery with a non-traditional approach that plays with form and style to create an impressive body of evidence. Using her memoir as the foundation, director Maria Agui Carter brings Loreta’s story to life through dramatic period re-enactments, archival material and excerpts of her writing, supported by interviews with scholars and historians who provide persuasive historical, social, and political context. Loreta risked being tried for treason for her masquerade and was ultimately branded a liar and erased from history. In her search for family, nation, and identity, she instead became a fascinating illustration of the politics of memory.
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.