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Guide to the Estela and Ernesto Bravo Film and Video Collection TAM.616

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2596

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Jan Hilley, with the assistance of Heather Mulliner.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 27, 2022
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited by Heather Mulliner to include item-level description of 225 videos Edited by Amy C. Vo to include item-level description of 42 videos Edited by Jasmine Sykes-Kunk and Amy C. Vo to include item-level description of 32 videos Edited by Rachel Mahre to reflect digitization of videos Edited by Weatherly Stephan to reflect deaccession of moldy, digitized videos Updated by Anna Björnsson McCormick to record digitization, decontamination, isolation, and deaccession of videos treated by a vendor.  , December 2018 , May 2020 , October 2020 , February 2021 , June 2021 , July 2022

Biographical Note

Estela Bravo (1933- ) is an American-born documentary filmmaker who has been creating films on Cuba and Latin America with her husband Ernesto Bravo since the 1980s. The Bravos moved to Cuba in the early 1960s, and as a result many of Estela Bravo's films focus on political and cultural relations between the United States and Cuba. Bravo's documentaries have aired on television networks including PBS (US), CBC (Canada), Channel 4 (UK) Canal Plus (France), and at international film festivals and retrospectives honoring her work.

Estela Bravo was born on June 8, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. The youngest of three daughters, she was raised in a family of working-class European immigrants. Estela worked for the Furriers Union while studying sociology at night at Brooklyn College. In 1953 she helped organize a group called Students for a Peaceful World. She attended the 3rd World Student Congress in Warsaw, Poland as a representative for the Students for a Peaceful World, where she met Ernesto Bravo.

Ernesto Mario Bravo (1929- ) was born in Argentina on April 7, 1929. Bravo studied medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. In 1951, while still a student, he was targeted by the state police for his participation in a student strike and tried on charges of organizing anti-government student activities.

Estela and Ernesto Bravo married in January of 1956. They moved to Cuba in 1963 after Ernesto was offered a position as a Professor of Biochemistry at the Medical School of the University of Havana. In Cuba, Estela Bravo worked at the cultural institution Casa de las Américas where she organized programs promoting folk and protest music. She later began developing television programs and creating short documentaries based on archival footage, which documented notable figures like the Rosenbergs, Malcolm X, and Paul Robeson. Ernesto wrote many of the scripts for these short films. Estela Bravo completed her first full-length documentary in 1980, Those Who Left, which told the story of Cubans who left the island after the 1959 revolution. In addition to his teaching career, Ernesto Bravo has worked collaborator with his wife on her many documentary films, and has written a number of books, including  Modern Medicine in Cuba (1995) and  Development within Underdevelopment: New Trends in Cuban Medicine (1998).

As of 2016, Estela and Ernesto Bravo continue to make films. In 2014, they were honored in South Africa by the Mandela Foundation, they released films about Gabriel García Márquez and Commander Juan Almeida, and they updated their 2007 film, Who am I? The Found Children of Argentina.


1980 Those Who Left
1982  Cubans in Peru
1982  A Beautiful Mission
1983  The Marielitos
1984  Silvio and Pablo in Argentina
1984  Maurice Bishop
1984  The National Ballet of Cuba in Argentina
1984  The National Ballet of Cuba in Peru
1985  The Missing Children
1985  Children in Debt
1985  The Hour of the People
1986  Returning to Chile
1987  Who's Running the Show
1987  Holy Father and Gloria
1989  Americans in Cuba
1990  Cuba/South Africa: After the Battle
1990  Flotilla to Cuba
1990  Namibia: The Last Colony
1991  Mandela Visits Jamaica
1991  Mandela in Cuba
1992  Miami-Havana
1992  The Three Rafters
1993  The Cuban Excludables
1998  From Miami to Washington
2000  Fidel: The Untold Story
2000  Camp Kinderland in Havana
2004  Free to Fly
2007  "Who am I?" The Found Children of Argentina
2010  Operation Peter Pan: Flying Back to Cuba
2011  Anecdotes about Fidel
2012  Roberto To Love and Fight for Life
2013  Mandela and Fidel
2014  A Conversation with García Márquez about his Friend Fidel
2014  A Conversation with Commander Juan Almeida
2014  "Who am I?" The Found Children of Argentina (Update)