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They Would All be Queens (Todas iban a ser reinas) cover photo

They Would All be Queens (Todas iban a ser reinas) 2012, 2006


Distributed by Icarus Films, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Produced by Televisión Camagüey producciones / Oneyda González González
Directed by Gustavo Pérez Fernández
DVD, color, 88 min.

Sr. High - General Adult
Russians, Intercountry Marriage, Foreign Spouses, Emigration and Immigration, International Relations, Social History, Cuba, Soviet Union, Women’s History

Date Entered: 05/22/2014

Reviewed by Michael Fein, Coordinator of Library Services, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA

This production is a personal look at several women who grew up in the former Soviet Union and married Cuban men that they met while the Cubans were studying in the U.S.S.R. They moved to Camaguey, Cuba or its environs in the 1980s. The women are not all Russian – there are those who are Ukrainian, Latvian, Azerbaijani, and Belarusian besides being Russian. Their stories are all different, but also have many common elements – the agony of leaving their homes, disapproval of at least some family members, culture shock when arriving in Cuba, the great love all have/had for their husbands (they all seem to have been quite smitten by their men,) and perhaps a lack of considering how hard life would be in their husbands’ homeland. The things we do for love… All these women have the toughness that we associate with those who settled the American West, for they were pioneers. Their candor in describing their lives is admirable and their struggle to create a new life in difficult circumstances is often heartfelt. One woman describes how she died when she left the land of her birth and youth and how the humidity and termites of her new land had devoured what few physical memories (such as photos) she had with her. The film consists of interviews with the women with no narrator. The subtitles are in English for the Spanish portions only. Sound and picture are very good. These are all women with thick skins and quite often soft hearts that they reveal to the camera. While all seem to believe that it was all worth it, it was never easy.