Documentary — The Eyes of the Rainbow (1997)
“Eyes of the Rainbow” deals with the life of Assata Shakur, the Black Panther and Black Liberation Army leader who escaped from prison and was given political asylum in Cuba, where she has lived for close to 15 years. In it we visit with Assata in Havana and she tells us about her history and her life in Cuba. This film is also about Assata’s AfroCuban context, including the Yoruba Orisha Oya, goddess of the ancestors, of war, of the cemetery and of the rainbow. Gloria Rolando on “Eyes of the Rainbow”:
“In the struggle of the African American people, many women’s voices in the past and the present have always called for social justice, women who throughout the years have shown integrity and firmness in their principles. For this reason, “The Eyes of the Rainbow” is dedicated to all women who struggle for a better world.
One of those voices that already forms a part of the history of the African American people is that of Assata Shakur. In the documentary “The Eyes of the Rainbow,” she recounts aspects of her path as relentless warrior. We are able to create a meeting with Assata Shakur through the symbols of AfroCuban culture, which offer us beautiful songs evoking the ancestors.
Representations of the Yoruba warrior orishas such as Oya and Ochosi support the discourse of this story, which also has its moments of poetry and tenderness as in the dance of Oshun, through which is illustrated Assata’s decision to become mother while still in prison.
The blues interpreted by Junius Williams and his “Magic Harp,” the songs of Sweet Honey in the Rocks, and the Cuban group “Vocal Baobab” give a special stamp to this valiant testimony which defines the spirit of struggle in the African American woman.”