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Havana Divas 18

Screened in partnership with Sine Screen
S. Louisa Wei, Hong Kong, China, 2019, 90m.

Offering a window into the experience of Chinese migration to Cuba, Havana Divas 古巴花旦 follows two Cantonese opera singers who perform for decades in Cuba before, and during, Fidel Castro’s revolution.


The story focuses on Caridad and Georgina, who had learned the art of Cantonese Opera in Havana at a young age and performed as divas for over a decade before their lives were changed by Fidel Castro’s revolution. A unique look into the Chinese diaspora in North and Latin America and its connection to Hong Kong and Canton. The 2023 version includes their performance on Hong Kong stage at the advanced age of 88 and 90.


Havana Divas 古巴花旦 offers a window into over 170 years of Chinese migration to Cuba. Through contemporary interviews, archival photographs, and footage, director S. Louisa Wei delves into the evolving culture of Cantonese opera within a specific historical context. The film reveals the female spirit of the two stage sisters, capturing the spirit of female performers and making a significant contribution to the expanding collection of films documenting women artists within the Chinese Diaspora.



This screening is part of Whose Homeland 2023, a series of film screenings and special events held by Sine Screen that continuously explore ESEA diasporic identity, migration, and hidden histories. The program will be presented from September to November 2023 in response to the ESEA Heritage Month program at various venues around London.


Sine Screen is an emerging screening organisation dedicated to showcasing independent cinema, art films and documentaries from East and Southeast Asia, particularly the sinosphere. Aiming to subvert the dominant gaze, challenge the representation of East and Southeast Asia as well as opening discussions through curating diverse programmes of films by and about ESEA people.


Programme supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery.

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