“Cimarrón Spirit is extremely important in itself, but in the current political momentum within Dominican society it takes on added significance. It not only shows just how long Afro-Dominican cultural memory is but how closely it is linked to a movement of resistance and struggle for human dignity. The film is an important response to the negrophobia that has emerged in the wake of the denationalizing sentence.”
– Dr. Silvio Torres-Saillant, Syracuse University, author of An Intellectual History of the Caribbean
“Cimarrón Spirit subverts the dominant idea that Dominican culture can be defined solely through the anti-black and anti-Haitian rhetoric of the political, intellectual, and economic elite. It shows, instead, that Afro-descendent cultural and religious practices celebrated in different parts of the country are central to many Dominicans’ sense of self and communal belonging. The film weaves compelling interviews of participants explaining the histories behind varied cultural practices with extended footage from ceremonies, festivals, and carnivals. It allows viewers, Dominican and non-Dominican alike, to see and hear elements Dominican culture–costumes, music, and other components of these and religious cultural practices–that have been violently suppressed by generations of Spanish colonial, Dominican nation-state, and U.S. imperial authorities. Cimarrón Spirit is required viewing for anyone interested in understanding Dominican culture beyond the Trujillo dictatorship, baseball, and anti-Haitianist rhetoric.
– Dr. Dixa Ramírez, Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Yale University
“From the outset, this film is bold and bright. From the music to the colourful outfits you cannot help but be drawn to the screen. Drawn to a way of life and a celebration that is so far removed from many of our lives. This is the strength of this documentary piece. It doesn’t just focus on a geographical location. It focuses on a people. It looks at their history and their historical journey as a population through the eyes and experiences of a variety of people within the community.
The mixture of various celebrations and different aspects of the celebrations works well to provide different perspectives of the Cimarron and the variety of legends that surround them. This in turn provides a much stronger and more fulfilling narrative to the documentary. The different viewpoints make the documentary much more interesting and intriguing.”
– Film Review— Largo Film Awards
“This film shows far more than it tells. By taking the viewer to the different regions and allowing the many characters to speak directly for themselves…the film engages the viewer in a process of exploration.”
– Dr. Roger Wood, author of Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues