Alynda Segarra’s Americana folk-blues band Hurray For The Riff Raff released The Navigator last year, and today they return with a new short film about the post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rican crisis, built around one of The Navigator’s songs.
“Pa’lante” stars Mela Murder of the Oscar-nominated The Florida Project and was directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa. Murder plays the main character, a single mother named Milagros. Segarra appears alongside images of her father and footage of the civil rights activist group the Young Lords. It’s soundtracked by Hurray For The Riff Raff’s poignant Latinx protest song “Pa’lante.” The video benefits the PRIMA Relief Fund, an organization that supports Puerto Rico’s artistic community.
Figueroa expands on the video:
We really wanted to showcase talent of color, stories by people of color – it was important to me to make sure this was a diverse production that had Puerto Ricans working on it. The conditions on the island are still very poor. During the production we could all feel how painful it all was, how it’s been so long without enough help. The island is still strong, the people always positive, but you can’t help but feel the desperation and pain of the colonial condition, the sense of abandonment. Pa’lante is a very Puerto Rican mindset – be it a family struggling to stay together, or recovering from the hurricane, the Puerto Rican people are strong and they will always stand and move forward. And there is a beauty to that.
The Navigator is out now on ATO.