President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Cuba has special significance for many Cuban-American Bay Area residents.
One of those residents is Zuzy Martin Lynch, a San Anselmo filmmaker who produces films about the Cuban-American experience. Her most recent work titled “Craving Cuba” explores the duality of identities between people coming from the previously warring countries.
She says she’s been watching Obama’s trip very closely, hoping that the president will see the beauty of her family’s home country.
The trip is largely an effort to forge economic and business ties with Cuba and move on from decades of hostility between the two countries. Obama landed in the country Sunday, where he and the First Family were greeted by top Cuban officials (aside from President Raul Castro, who will greet Obama Monday at the Palace of the Revolution).
“I’m happy for this positive change,” Lynch said, referring to strengthening ties between Cuba and the U.S. “I’m happy to see President Obama landing in Cuba because I hope again it will mean the Cuban people will have a better future and dream for the future is that I could be a part of it.”
However, her grandparents don't feel the same. Lynch told NBC Bay Area that within the Cuban-American community, Obama's visit is "controversial."
Her grandmother thought there should have been more "positive change" before Obama made a visit to the country. Ultimately, however, the family wants relatives living in Cuba to one day share the same freedoms and protections she has in the U.S.
Lynch’s film was filmed with the help of an IndieGoGo campaign, which raised more than $7,000 dollars.
The film features interviews with Cuban-American artists, musicians and writers across generations. Central to the narrative is the American Dream and a sense of longing.
Her film will play at the Tiberon International Film Festival in April.