THE BORINQUENEERS

THE BORINQUENEERS

    Price: $350.00

    Code: 2276

    Directed by Noemi Figueroa Soulet
    2007, 78 minutes
    Purchase: $350 Classroom Rental: $125
    A Comprehensive Study Guide is available in English or in Spanish.

    This bonus-packed DVD contains English and Spanish versions, Scene Selections, Deleted Interviews and a Slide Show of Interview Subjects. The Spanish version is narrated by David Ortiz Anglero.

    The Borinqueneers is the first major documentary to chronicle the never-before-told story of the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment, the only all-Hispanic unit in the history of the U.S. Army. Narrated by Hector Elizondo.

    The 65th Infantry Regiment was created in 1899 by the U.S. Congress as a segregated unit composed primarily of Puerto Ricans with mostly continental officers. It went on to serve meritoriously in three wars: World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The unit was nicknamed after "Borinquen", the word given to Puerto Rico by its original inhabitants, the Taino Indians, meaning "land of the brave lord".

    Puerto Ricans occupy a special place in the history of the U.S. Army. Because of the island's commonwealth status, they don't have the right to vote in U.S. elections, and yet they serve in the military and can be drafted. For many of the veterans of the 65th, this paradox became an incentive to be even more patriotic, and to prove themselves in battle. Although thousands of Puerto Ricans have served courageously in the Armed Forces, their contribution and sacrifices have gone largely unnoticed. Until now.

    A result of extensive historical research and interviews with 250 veterans and commanding officers of the 65th Infantry from all over the United States and Puerto Rico, The Borinqueneers explores the rich history of this unique regiment, from its very beginnings to its final and controversial desegregation.



    Subjects & Collections



    Festivals & Awards

    * Official Screening, National Guard Equal Opportunity Annual Conference, 2008
    * Official Screening, Organization of American Historians Annual Conference, 2009
    * Winner, Award of Excellence, National Association of Film & Digital Media Artists, 2008
    * Winner, Award of Excellence: Hector Elizondo - Voice-over Narration, National Association of Film & Digital Media Artists, 2008
    * Winner, Award of Excellence, Accolade Television Awards, 2008
    * Winner, Best Puerto Rican Documentary, Rincon International Film Festival, 2008
    * Official Selection, Best Documentary for Television, Imagen Awards, 2008
    * Winner, Best Professional Documentary, Real to Reel International Film Festival, 2008
    * Honorable Mention, Chris Awards, 2008
    * Finalist, Estela Award, National Association of Latino Independent Producers, 2008
    * Official Selection, Cinesol Film Festival, 2008
    * Official Selection, Tulipanes Latino Art & Film Festival, 2008
    * Official Selection, Orlando Latin American Film & Heritage Festival, 2008
    * Official Selection, Puerto Rican Film Series, PRIAC, 2007



    Reviews

    "Highly recommended... The film, sensitive to the plight of the 65th and its veterans, while remaining cautiously objective, should be considered required content for any collection or institution supporting a Puerto Rican population or Latin American studies." - Educational Media Reviews Online

    “A passionate rejoinder to Ken Burns, whose World War II documentary drew sharp criticism from Latino and American Indian groups for initially ignoring their contributions during that war…. The Borinqueneers gives a once-storied Puerto Rican regiment its due.” – The New York Times

    “An excellent choice for libraries…. The strength of the film is the commentary provided by former members; they are exceptionally candid about their military experiences, reasons for serving, and relationships formed under fire. Historians’ and former military officers’ commentary provide an outside view of the regiment, praising their heroism and bravery. The film also examines how mismanagement of the unit by assigning non-Spanish-speaking officers led to mass insubordination and the arrest of 100 soldiers. A number of relevant topics are covered: racism in the military, America’s relationship with Puerto Rico, and the Korean conflict. But what makes the film most compelling is its examination of friendship and camaraderie under fire.” - School Library Journal

    “Highly recommended for libraries serving Puerto Ricans or with collections of Puerto Rican studies… In a very effective interview technique, veterans of the 65th Infantry comment on its performance and express their pride in having served as American citizens despite the limits imposed upon them as a “colored” battalion. Issues pertaining to Puerto Rican culture are also presented, such as their strong adherence to religious customs, praying the rosary before fighting, and their playing music, even in the war camps.” - Criticas

    "The Borinqueneers, is both informative and heartbreaking. The film is a necessary step in revealing the complex history of these Puerto Rican soldiers — brave, proud men — and their contributions should be celebrated, especially given how they’re glaringly absent from history books... the film is dense and well-researched, and it does its best to remain objective, instead largely allowing viewers to interpret these historical events according to their own belief systems." - Si TV

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