What does it mean to be a colony? It’s a question filmmakers Rosa Emmanuelli Gutiérrez and Gonzalo Mazzini have wrestled with since 2014. The fruit of that struggle was their debut documentary film, Jurakan: Nation in Resistance. The film explores the complicated circumstances of Puerto Rico’s history, and celebrates the island’s culture, people and struggle for a place in the world.
The origins of the project date back to when both Mazzini and Gutiérrez were at university. One summer, Gutiérrez invited Mazzini to visit her in Puerto Rico. While taking in the food, culture and natural beauty of the island, Mazzini noticed Puerto Rican and U.S. flags flying alongside each other. He asked Gutiérrez why that was.
“I answered very quickly that the reason that there is the Puerto Rican flag next to the U.S. flag in all governmental buildings in Puerto Rico is that Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States,” she said.