Friday, May 3, 2013

Viva Loreta Velazquez


Published on Apr 16, 2013

Why was Loreta Velazquez, a woman soldier and spy of the American Civil War considered so dangerous she was erased from history? Writer/director/producer Maria Agui Carter, and producer Calvin Lindsay bring you behind the scenes of the new documentary REBEL.

For screenings and more Like

REBEL: A film about a woman, a myth, and the politics of national memory. Contact us at
Just completed! Will be posting soon about screenings and PBS national Prime time airdate!
Plot Outline
Loreta Velazquez fought as a Confederate Soldier, then spied for the Union, during the American Civil War. At the outset of the American Civil War, a teenager from New Orleans paid a tailor to make a soldier's uniform. Serving under an alias, Lieutenant Harry Buford was an officer in the battle of First Bull Run, was wounded at Shiloh, and served as a secret agent for the Confederacy.

Buford's real name was Loreta Janeta Velazquez. Born in Cuba and raised in New Orleans, Loreta was brash, quick-witted, and unconventional. Her memoir was published in 1876. It revealed the dark side of the Confederacy, the horrors of war, and the corruption of war-time society. It caused a sensation. She was publicly attacked and discredited by a prominent Southern General, and for over a century, critics have dismissed her as a hoax.

But contemporary historians have uncovered evidence indicating that she did exist, and that, in fact, she was one of over 400 women documented to have fought in the Civil War. The historical record both confirms some of her experiences detailed in her memoirs, for example with newspaper reports of her arrests for disguising herself as an officer, and contradicts other experiences, such as the extent of her union connections and sympathies. Who was this woman? Why did she choose to fight? And why has she disappeared from histories of the American Civil War?

REBEL is structured as a detective story aimed at a broad audience with a focus on an unusual Civil War era soldier, and a non-traditional approach to historical documentary filmmaking. Weaving dramatic scenes, actor’s readings, archival material, interviews, and contemporary documentary footage, REBEL is a provocative investigation into the life of a Latina woman and the Southern Hispanic communities during one of the most pivotal moments of American history.

Written and Directed by Maria Agui Carter
Produced by: Maria Agui Carter, Calvin A. Lindsay
Production Coordinator: Kat Alix-Gaudreau
Editor: Bernice Schneider
Assistant Editor: Summers Henderson
Camera: Miguel Angel Aponte Rios

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