In 1961, more than 250,000 Cubans joined the National Literacy Campaign and taught more than 700,000 of their compatriots to read and write. Almost half of these volunteer teachers were under 18. More than half were women. Narrated by Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, ‘Maestra’ explores the experiences of nine of the women who, as young girls, helped eradicate illiteracy from Cuba in a single year. Interweaving interviews, archive footage and campaign photos, this lively documentary, features one of the first Cubans of her generation to call herself a feminist and one of the first open and proud members of Cuba’s LGBT community. These pioneers recount their struggle for autonomy and independence in a culture still bound by patriarchal structures. Eight years in the making, ‘Maestra’ celebrates the will and courage that made this monumental endeavour possible, and the pivotal role played by women and the young in building a new society.

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