1529 16th Street NW
Dir. Lex Gillespie | 90 min
Documentary | United States | 2019 | English
Back By Popular Demand! A hit at JxJ 2019
During the 1950s, free-spirited, mostly Jewish dancers from New York City fell head over heels for the mambo, a hot dance from Havana, Cuba. Their love for Latin rhythms earned them a nickname: the mamboniks.
DC-based filmmaker Lex Gillespie tracks their joyous story from the Jewish resorts of the Catskills, to Manhattan’s famed Palladium Ballroom, Florida’s Gold Coast Ballroom and of course Havana. Featuring the infectious sounds of Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and Mongo Santamaría, Gillespie explores how Jewish people, Latinos and African-Americans met on the dance floor at a time when America was racially segregated, and anti-Semitism was commonplace.
Director Lex Gillespie in conversation after select screenings: Sunday, February 16, 3:00 PM and Tuesday, February 18, 7:00 PM.