Facets Cinémathèque

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June 26–July 2, 2015

U.S. Theatrical

They Are We

Filmmaker Emma Christopher in person!

Film still: They Are We


Best Documentary
DocMiami Intl
Film Fest
"A fascinating ethnographic lesson that also works as a mystery story"
  —Chicago Reader

They Are We is the story of a remarkable reunion about a family, despite the passage of 200 years, which had been driven apart by the ravages of the transatlantic slave trade. In Central Cuba, proud members of the Gangá-Longobá, a small Afro-Cuban ethnic group, have kept their unique heritage alive. Incredibly, through decades of brutal enslavement, independence wars, and then the denying of all religions after the revolution, they have retained a collection of distinct songs and dances that one of their ancestors brought from Africa as a slave. Each December 17th they still perform them at the San Lazaro ceremony and after a chance discovery while working in West Africa, anthropologist/director Emma Christopher spent two years showing a film of their songs and dances to several thousand people across Sierra Leone. Eventually, in an isolated village with no road access, one man looked at another in joy and wonder as he watched a recording of the Gangá-Longobá songs and said, "THEY ARE WE!" Then the villagers joined in, still recognizing them clearly even with the vast passage of time. Returning to Cuba, Emma showed her findings to the Gangá-Longobá themselves, and preparations then began, to welcome home their long lost cousins, with the biggest festival in the history of the village.

Directed by Emma Christopher, Australia, 2014, 77 mins.

Filmmaker/anthropologist Emma Christopher will be here for a Q&A after the 7 p.m. screenings on Friday, June 26th and Saturday, June 27th.


  • Fri., Jun. 26 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Jun. 27 at 3, 5. 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Jun. 28 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Jun. 29–Jul. 2 at 7 & 9 pm
Order tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation