Howland Center to Screen La Fiesta del Fuego

Documentary captures Cuba’s annual Fire Festival

The Howland Cultural Center will screen the documentary La Fiesta del Fuego (The Fire Festival) at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23. The film documents the nine-day festival, which has been celebrated in Santiago, Cuba, annually since 1980 and features rhythmic drumming, dancing and singing of the mystical Santeros, Rastafarians, Native Indians and other Caribbean cultures.

La Fiesta culminates with a spectacular devil effigy-burning. “The fire symbolizes ridding the world of all bad influences and evil,” said Susanne Moss, who produced and directed the 49-minute film after attending the festival in July.

Moss’s other documentaries are Ras Cuba: Interviews with Cuban Rastafarians (2003) and Rastas at Home and Abroad (2011). Her photos of Rastafarian cultures have been displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

A Q&A with Moss, Cuban cultural expert Frank Quintero and editor Jim Biffle will follow the screening. Admission is $8. The cultural center is located at 477 Main St. in Beacon. To view a trailer for the documentary, visit selahphoto.com/documentaries.

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