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BRATTLEBORO >> Cuban actress Idalmis Garcia will speak at a free screening of the award winning drama "Conducta" (Behavior), a modern Cuban drama about a teacher and her troubled but spirited student in which Ms. Garcia co-stars, on Friday, Sept. 23, at 118 Elliot, 118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro.

The screening kicks-off the Windham World Affairs Council's new community offering "Understanding Through Film," a series of free culinary and cultural events that pair film and food with great speakers and events to illuminate a country or global issue in depth.

One Friday each month for a total of four events, this fall's focus is on "Understanding Cuba Through Film" and how these "close but so far" Communist neighbors compare to ourselves. Lissa Weinmann, Senior Fellow, World Policy Institute, curated and will moderate the events. The series is partially supported by the Vermont Humanities Council and the National Endowment of the Humanities.

A buffet style, vegetarian-friendly, Cuban dinner served with help from the Restless Rooster Cafe, will be served at 6:30 p.m. by donation; films begin promptly at 7 p.m. with discussion/events to follow, all at 118 Elliot. Reservations appreciated, email: 118Elliot@gmail.com or call 917-239-8743 and leave a message.


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Famed Cuban director Ernesto Daranas' award winning film "Conducta (Behavior)" (2014, 100 min, Spanish with English subtitles) sheds light on Cuba's much heralded educational system and the state of Cuban society today, as the ideals and institutions created by the Cuban Revolution struggle with political and economic change and a strict US embargo still in force despite renewed diplomatic relations.

Continue to learn about Cuba for three subsequent Friday night films, each starting at 7 p.m. at 118 Elliot with big, vivid projection, pure sound and comfortable seating as follows:

On Friday, Oct. 21, director Benjamin Murray speaks with his brilliant "Unfinished Spaces" (2011, Alysa Nahmias, Benjamin Murray, 86 minutes) about Cuba's National Schools of Art, the 'world monuments' that are the subject of the much-celebrated documentary and the cultural legacy of arts education in Cuba today.

On Friday, Nov, 18, Melissa A. Headley, MD, a resident at Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn, speaks with ¡Salud! (Health!, 2008 English and Spanish, 90 minutes), Academy Award winning director Connie Field's exploration of Cuba's unique healthcare system, its international reach and its Latin America Medical School, one of the largest in the world, where Ms. Headley, like scores of other economically disadvantaged student from the US, studied under full scholarship from the Cuban Government in exchange for a commitment to practice in underserved communities. She will discuss that experience and how her training in Cuba informs her medical practice today.

On Friday, Dec, 16, the lens turns toward Cuban religion as WWAC offers a half hour program of fascinating ethnographic shorts, a window into Afro-Cuban spiritual traditions which will come alive with Miguel Periche, from Holguín, Cuba and Iroko Nuevo, a 13-member folkloric dance and music ensemble infused with Santería spirit for a holiday gathering con sabor.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this series do not necessarily represent the views of the Vermont Humanities Council or the National Endowment of the Humanities. For more information visitwindhamworldaffairscouncil.org