As seen on 13-WNET in New York and PBS South Florida

“A surprising and Heartwarming story about the journey from New York and Europe to Cuba, a fascinating language and two extraordinary people and their enduring love.” Neal Shapiro – President and CEO of WNET-13

SchillerNewTitle7_17.inddIt Happened in Havana:

A Yiddish Love Story 

He didn’t speak Spanish. She didn’t speak English. After 61 years of marriage he was still on his honeymoon.

In Forest Hills, Queens, a couple sits on their living room couch as the husband and wife each recount how they met in Cuba during the start of WWII.

In her directorial debut, filmmaker Judy Schiller takes the viewer on two journeys: her mother’s, from Poland to Cuba, where she and her family were the only Jews in their town; and her father’s beginning on New York’s Lower East Side, where the street was the playground.

Equal parts romantic tale and history lesson, the film features poignant period footage and priceless home movies. The accompanying soundtrack intertwines Cuban and American music and enhances the couple’s affectionate dialogue.

How did they stay married for the 61 years? See their daughter’s tribute–and find out.

  • Why do we watch films?

    To laugh, to cry and to learn more.

    Inspire your students by integrating this film in your lessons.

    It Happened in Havana helps engage students emotionally in a story that has many threads. It’s a tale of love, family, international politics, immigration, Jewish history, American history, and much more.

    Perfect for your classroom – with 27 minutes of visual storytelling, the film leaves plenty of time to discuss the subjects it touches on and invites students to think and provide insights from their own experiences too.

    This film brings the personal stories of immigrants back into the debate.