DRILLS OF LIBERATION
Director: Juan C. Dávila Run Time: 121 min. Release Year: 2021 Language: Spanish
Starring: Bad Bunny, Carmen Yulín Cruz, Residente, Scott Barbes Caminero, Sugeily Rodríguez Lebrón
“Liberation Drills” is the untold story of the Puerto Rican protest wave of 2016-2019, which culminated with the resignation of governor Ricardo Rosselló. In 2016, the US Congress appointed a seven-member board to control Puerto Rico’s government finances. The poor Caribbean colony has a massive economic crisis, and unpayable debt to Wall Street bondholders. When the Fiscal Control Board begins operations to pay bondholders they demand cuts public institutions and the privatization public assets, which triggers a new anti-austerity movement. Young people take to the streets to demand the cancellation of the country’s public debt, and fight to protect the public education system.
The main social movement organization featured in this documentary is “Jornada: Se Acabaron Las Promesas.” Jornada organized dozens of protests, direct actions, and supported many other social justice causes. Later, hurricane María’s landfall revealed how the economic crisis made the country even more vulnerable to climate disasters. Jornada’s activists were among many others that organized community centers in urban and rural areas to address hunger in the aftermath of the hurricane. In this struggle for survival and against austerity young generations fight for their basic rights, as they also reimagine the liberation and future of their country. This documentary is a portrait of Puerto Rico’s new fight against US Colonialism.