“Shadow Of A Hurricane”: A Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed By Sandra Winther (2019)

“Shadow Of A Hurricane” is a Cinematic Poem Short Film in Puerto Rico Featuring Poet Victor Hernández Cruz Directed By Sandra Winther.

Directed by: Sandra Winther

Shadow Of A Hurricane Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed By Sandra Winther (2019)

Director of Photography: Daniel Stewart
Editor: Ben Suenaga
Music and Sound Design: Raphaël Ajuelos
Production Company: New Land x Iconoclast
Executive Producers: Tjor Brammer Jacobsen and Nils Schwemer
Producers: Sara Samsoe and Katrine Juul Svendsgaard

“This film celebrates a place I’ve come to know well over the years,” says Sandra Winther, the Danish filmmaker kicking off Survival Season—our program of films profiling the consequences of climate change. “Puerto Rico is home to passionate people, packed with mountains, caves, bays and reefs. Enclosed by bright blue water, this enchanting island bursts with the grit of life.”

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, it took the lives of 3000 people and left the island without water and electricity. As the catastrophic effects of climate change continue to threaten every continent, islands have become the most at risk.


Puerto Rico, the 1949 poem by Victor Hernández Cruz that extols the virtues of the US territory lays the foundation for Winther’s film. The New York-based director pairs Cruz’s words with moving images of the people, homes and landscapes that belong to the island. “Shadow of a Hurricane captures the striking duality of Puerto Rico,” she says. “It’s a place of both beauty and loss.”

Puerto Rican culture may be unassailable but the island’s infrastructure continues to be vulnerable. Shadow of a Hurricane alludes to this by juxtaposing high-spirited street scenes with remnants of the hurricane’s devastation.

Shadow Of A Hurricane Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed By Sandra Winther (2019)

“Following what is considered to be the deadliest natural disaster to hit the island, the population has come together to rebuild as much as they can, as fast as they can,” says Winther. “But the threat still looms, not just here but amongst all coastal communities around the globe.”

Shadow of a Hurricane forms part of Survival Season, our special program charting the impact of human exploitation of the earth. Taking inspiration from the four classical elements—earth, air, water, fire—the films profile weather-beaten islands, the desolation of the earth’s natural resources, oceans clogged with plastics, and fires that rage as a consequence of global warning. Each film is a creative response to the harrowing effects of climate change, while reminding audiences that only humanity can be the fulcrum for transformation.”

Shadow Of A Hurricane Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed By Sandra Winther (2019)

“Puerto Rico” by Victor Hernández Cruz

Born on a turf
a medieval remnant
Owned by the United States
it was almost water
So minute the earthen formation,
barely rock,
a swift of natura intention
geologic lift forgot the mud load
as the rising slow, eruption
peep there it is piedra Caribe,
world mapmakers save
on the ink,
what minuscule elaboration
bays, lakes,
hidden caves
landscape, chains of mountains
opening blue neck of sky
mounted glued
alongside other Hispano-Caribbean isles
Santo Domingo/embracing Haiti
Cuba bird snake long.
Spanish-African movement.
the Federation which
Betances the doctor clambered for
the Hispania Antilles,
intellectual political Independence.
Some letter bestowing Puerto Rico
from the Spanish Crown
the United States no desire
to open that envelope.
Betances visionary mestizo
Paris his doctors’ foot.
The epoch of gold
when on the island with my son
we made home,
in the neighborhood of
the tobacconists
Aguas Buenas
on a street called Antorcha
a socialist flame
of the independentistas
workers barrio of chichales.
My family there Generations.
The mornings waking my son
for school,
watching him become a man,
awakening sense to life,
his first girl kisses
that pretty brown girl
primer girlfriend
I spotted them once
wrapped round each other,
like two bacalaito fritters
later my mother cooked
Red beans and plantain tostones
along with yellow rice sparked with corn,
The island was this sofrito flavor for me,
bolero music of my mother
she grew sadness with the lyrics
wondering of all the lost loves,
memories illusions making
efforts to materialize,
see them almost
like bridges hanging out
from her eyes.
Days were
found her in tears
lonely in her room
Fragrance of Florida water
circulating blue colcha,
picture of her mother
and father above bed,
nothing was ever coming,
the only future was the end.
The Caribbean is everywhere
lost within us,
trapped in kitsch glorious
rooms of plasticity jails,
so much grime ‘’tween
the beauty contra-la-danza,
René Marqués our writer
Belched out
“Condenao mar, tanta agua
Y no limpia nah”
Through the bullets
flying now in panoramic tropical
Mother kept singing,
as esperanza, gently vibrato
hope like a white 
Garza landing upon a cadaver.
she would meet
everyone she knew
in heaven again.
Singing boleros
café con leche,
Pastelillos de Guayaba.
To the bad times,
give a happy face,
place a red amapola
in your black dark hair.
Revive the mummies,
the dead,
burst the bodies
out of the coffins
let’s all walk to the plaza
this final time
paint with silver starlight
the ancient songs
in night sky,
Rain Again
What never commenced
Comes to a finale. 
Shadow Of A Hurricane Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed By Sandra Winther (2019)

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