Producer – Maria Agui Carter
In Post Production
Rebel is a one–hour documentary exploring the contested history of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, a woman who fought in the American Civil War disguised as a male officer under the alias of Lieutenant Harry Buford.
Velazquez, a Cuban who grew up in New Orleans, published her memoir A Woman in Battle in 1876. Written by a bilingual woman of means who had access to an excellent education, this memoir offers new dimensions to our understanding of women’s participation during the Civil War. As a Civil War soldier who is both a woman, and Latina, Velazquez allows us rare insight into a pivotal historic moment from a fresh perspective.
Her story is so remarkable that for over a century it has been summarily dismissed as conjecture. Recently, contemporary historians have unearthed evidence corroborating Velazquez’ existence, including newspaper accounts, references to her in private letters from soldiers who knew her, and even official documents in the National Archives. The fact that her story was contested allows the film to discuss the politics of historical storytelling. Questions of who owns history and what purpose our heroic figures serve will guide the film as the story of Velazquez unfolds.