No events for Cuba's Forgotten Jewels

About the Film:FacebookRSVPFinal2018

In 1940, 14-year-old Marion Kreith (mother of co-director Judy Kreith) was among 6,000 Jewish refugees from war-torn Europe taken in by Cuba, including hundreds of diamond cutters and their families. With limited options in this exotic and unfamiliar land, they—along with 6,000 additional Jews from an earlier wave of refugees—built an industry from scratch that, for a few years, turned the tropical island nation into a global diamond-polishing center. Men and women, Jews and Cubans, worked side by side, integrated and intermingled without prejudice for years. However, when the war ended, most Jews emigrated to the US, Israel, or back to Europe, whereupon the fledgling industry vanished without a trace. Featuring an original soundtrack of Jewish melodies and pulsating Cuban music, including the song "La Chica del Malecón" by Seattle’s own Latin jazz band, Clave Gringa (who will perform after the film), CUBA’S FORGOTTEN JEWELS brings this little-known, colorful, and uplifting story to light. In our current climate of resurgent nativism, CUBA’S FORGOTTEN JEWELS documents an immigrant success story and celebrates the power of the human spirit. Bring your toe-tapping and dancing shoes!

Includes Live Latin Jazz Preformace by Clave Gringa feat. Ann Reynolds.

Special Guests:

Judy KreithJudy Kreith: Co-Director, Writer of CUBA'S FORGOTTEN JEWELS is a professional dance educator and choreographer. She received her MA Degree from Stanford University. Her mother, Marion Finkels Kreith, is the key inspiration for this film. Judy has extensively studied Cuban dance and while in Cuba, began research into the Jewish refugees’ diamond polishing industry that flourished in Havana during the Second World War, working on-site with Cuban historians. Judy contributes her research and knowledge, along with her personal connection and passion for this project and its potential impact. She has spoken on this topic to many groups, including a conference at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Robin TruesdaleRobin Truesdale: Co-Director, Cinematographer and Editor of CUBA'S FORGOTTEN JEWELS is a documentary filmmaker and the founder of Two Hands Films. She brings her storytelling abilities and craft to this project as the cinematographer, editor, and technical director. Robin began her career as a news editor for a Denver television station. After years of constructing news and educational stories through video, she was introduced to documentary film’s powerful potential to communicate deeper stories about people, cultures, and issues of the times. Her work deals primarily with social justice, cultural, and humanitarian issues. Robin received her BS and MS Degrees in Journalism from the University of Colorado

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Clave Gringa is a Seattle Latin Jazz band whose song "La Chica del Malecon" is featured on the CUBA'S FORGOTTEN JEWELS SOUNDTRACK. The energy and spirit of Clave Gringa reflects a commitment to an authentic expression of music and is an invitation to get up and move. Repertoire includes a broad spectrum of Cuban styles from Cuban son and danzon to rumba and Afro Cuban with an infusion of American jazz.

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Film Details:

Director: Robin Truesdale and Judy Kreith
Country: USA
Language: English, Spanish, and Hebrew w/subtitles
Running Time: 46m
Year: 2017
Genre: Documentary
Official Website


  • WWII
  • Cuba
  • Refugees and immigration
  • Diamond Industry


Michele & Stan Rosen
Iantha & Stan Sidell
Community Partners: American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)