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"Jurakán is a powerful force. It provides a panoply of voices that comprise today’s Puerto Rico, interspersed within a critical telling of the island’s history and description of the challenges faced by its inhabitants today.  Jurakán does more than inform: it reveals the rich soul of the people who call the island home. Prepare to have all naïve assumptions about Puerto Rico ripped from their moorings."

         -- Bruce Friesen, Sociology Chair, University of Tampa

Jurakán is the only documentary that studies 120 years of Puerto Rican history. Featuring forty-one professionals; historians, lawyers, sociologists, economists, artists, and more. Jurakán is an in-depth analysis of colonialism's motivations and effects in the human psyche, the sociopolitical structures and colonial law.
Jurakán is an essential teaching tool for:
  • Latin American & Caribbean Studies
  • Racial and Ethnic Studies
  • Puerto Rican Studies & US History
  • Political Science
  • Film and Media Studies
This award-winning documentary is also a fascinating addition to public library collections.
Jurakan Local Poster.jpg

Available in libraries and classrooms in:

Yale, Stanford, Princeton, NYU and more!


  • Scene Selection

  • English Subtitles

  • Bonus Material

  • Study Guide PDF


Running Time: 90 minutes

In the years after the release of Jurakán, with the help of the Puerto Rican people and social media, there has been growing awareness around the colonial structures that continue to coerce Puerto Ricans in the 21st century. The historical struggle of this oppression runs deep, as Jurakán reveals. The film looks back to the Hispanic-American War and the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Insular Cases, which states, that “Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory that belongs to, but is not part of the United States”. Jurakán argues that Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States is based on coercion and domination, and brings into question if the current political, economical and social crisis are symptoms of this colonial relationship.  

Featuring a wide range of interviewees including law professor Efrén Rivera Ramos, economist Marcia Rivera, governor of Puerto Rico Pedro Pierluisi, Casa Pueblo’s Alexis Massol, and many more, Jurakán moves from the education system to the gag law to the struggle of Vieques against the US Navy with beautiful photography and a cavalcade of facts.  

While sobering in its recontextualization of Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States, Jurakán remains hopeful in acknowledging Puerto Ricans’ pride and strength in their fight for equality under intolerable conditions. No one knows what the future holds for Puerto Rico, but as Danny Rivera eloquently states, “The people of Puerto Rico need to transcend history”.

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