“When tyranny is law revolution is order.” – Pedro Albizu Campos, 1932
Patriot – Fascist – Criminal – Saint – All have been used to describe Puerto Rican Revolutionary Pedro Albizu Campos. ‘Who is Albizu Campos?’ is the first feature length documentary to tell the life story of this charismatic leader who became the most polarizing figure in Puerto Rican history.
Unwavering audacity, intense political passion, fierce national pride – Pedro Albizu Campos had all the makings of a classic 20th century revolutionary. As President of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, he championed social justice, defied colonial rule, and galvanized Puerto Rico’s fight for independence from the United States. Revered by Che Guevara as “a symbol of the yet un-free but indomitable Latin America,” and auspiciously tagged a “Puerto Rican Malcolm X,” by as early 1933, “El Maestro,” (the Teacher, as he was commonly known), was a veritable public enemy in the United States. Despite a Harvard education and military service during World War I, Albizu was condemned a criminal in Washington, labeled a terrorist by the CIA and spent over 25 years of his life in prison, never compromising his vision of a free and sovereign Puerto Rico.
In scene after incredible scene we discover what compelled Albizu to challenge the American occupation of Puerto Rico while wrestling with his own sense of moral outrage, and the crushing consequences that followed. The story of Pedro Albizu Campos is one of the quintessential stories of the Americas. His struggle for a free Puerto Rico encapsulates Latin America’s struggle for self-determination and self-reliance from foreign interests. Yet today his story is virtually unknown.
Despite the immensity of Albizu Campos’ legacy and the impact that he had in the United States and Puerto Rico, there are no English language books currently in circulation about the subject. This project will be a main source of information for an entire generation of English speaking Latinos, public school educators, and political science, history and sociology students of every level.
Since starting this project in 2006, I’ve interviewed over 20 scholars, historians, associates and family members of Albizu and have taken research trips to Harvard, New York and Puerto Rico, accumulating over 100 hours of interviews, archival footage, hundreds of unpublished photos, rare radio interviews and original speeches given by Albizu. These materials have been assembled into a three-hour rough cut which needs to be edited down to ninety minutes.