Film Image
La Bruja: A Witch from the Bronx
Felix Rodriguez
50 minutes
English and Spanish

La Bruja: A Witch from the Bronx

Art, labor and family blend in this intimate documentary about performance artist Caridad De La Luz, better known as 'La Bruja'. Born and raised in the Bronx, this daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants takes the number 6 train to downtown Manhattan where she performs at popular New York City venues. She reads her poetry in Joe's Pub, stages her one-woman show in the Nuyorican Poets Café, and performs at Def Poetry Jam. But opportunities are scarce and she struggles to make ends meet in an industry where 'to keep it real' often means to work for free. But La Bruja is not alone in her struggle. Her husband, G-Bo, is a music producer and DJ that sacrifices his own artistic career to work full-time, take care of their two kids and help La Bruja with her music album. Her parents encourage her to continue developing her talents, while her Spanish-speaking grandmother happily baby-sits when La Bruja performs late at night. This documentary is a celebration of La Bruja's perseverance to gain visibility and recognition in the entertainment industry and her extended family's unconditional support.
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"If you are really interested in the life and work of this talented poet, musician, and actress -- you should definitely check out her stort." - Lisa Forrest, Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)
La Bruja draws from popular and folkloric themes to expolore her multicultural background. Her most powerful poems speak about her pride in being a Puerto Rican performer in an industry that often marginalizes ethnic artists and women in particular. The most moving scenes portray the poet as a struggling artist, loving mother, and wife who confronts the daily routine of a household while bearing the financial burden of an incipient artistic career. This documentary is highly recommended for collections of Puerto Rican and U.S. Latino artists. - Rafael Ocasio, Criticas Magazine
"The film provides a foundation for classroom discussion on everyday performativity intertwined with theatrical performance and the complex relationships women form with their audiences in local circles as well as larger society... In classroom discussion this film evokes questions about the simultaneous freedoms and limitations of De La Luz’s dedication to her chosen performative outlet. La Bruja has found her personal voice and shares that with her supportive family and immediate community but struggles to find a larger audience. LA BRUJA is a useful pedagogical tool in its representation of a strong woman creating a uniquely feminine performance in her homespace, expanding it into the public eye, building her community through these efforts, and continuing that performance whether or not it is appreciated by normative society. This echoes the performance theories of Judith Butler and Philip Auslander, which examine how performances themselves gain meaning through audience interaction. The film also serve as useful performance ethnography." - Dr. Victoria Newsom, CSU Los Angeles, Films for the Feminist Classroom
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