Elena C., is the first in a series of short films following a single protagonist, Elena C., a Puerto Rican activist and psychic medium as she makes her way walking along the perimeter of the island.
The film is set in the landscape of 1970’s Puerto Rico during an era of social unrest as a renewed sense of urgency in the struggle for independence, bolstered by parallel struggles within the US from anti-war protests, civil rights movements and others, feed a growing resentment toward US imperialist policies. A generation of youths, the artist's parents, family and the fictional Elena C. among them, found themselves becoming political agitators in the country’s fight for self-determination. Elena, with her paranormal, extra sensory experiences, are in part, symbolic of this political theater.
The character of Elena C. is based on an amalgam of historical sources rooted largely in Puerto Rican history. These include among others, Mariana Bracetti, the mid 19th century independence leader, nicknamed “El Brazo del Oro” (The Golden Arm) who led a failed rebellion against the Spanish, the artist's aunt, Lydia Garcia, a central figure in the 1970's socialist independence movement PSR (Partido Socalista Revolucionario / Socialist Revolutionist Party), Julia Vázquez known as “La Samaritana” a 1920's spiritualist medium who was thought to cure the afflicted via the healing waters of a local river, and Julia de Burgos, considered to be among Puerto Rico's premiere poets, whose poignant, lyrical verses spoke to feminist and nationalist concerns.Throughout Elena's journey as she circles through the verdant, otherworldly terrain, there exists an echoing choir of voices from these historical presences that offer memories and reflections on the nature of personal and political identity.
A poetic meditation, slipping through time and space, the film attempts to navigate the intersecting histories of extra-ordinary woman, Puerto Rico's political history, tracing family and the artist's own experiences.