St. John Film Society to Screen ‘Sugar Pathways’

Scene from documentary “Sugar Pathways” by Johanna Bermudez-Ruiz.

The St. John Film Society will host a one-time screening of the documentary “Sugar Pathways” (50 minutes) by Johanna Bermudez-Ruiz. It will be screened at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 7, at Bajo El Sol Gallery, Cruz Bay, St. John. There is a $5 suggested donation. The filmmaker will be present for a Q & A after the screening.

Synopsis: “Sugar Pathways” is a powerful, vibrant film that recounts the story of migration by Puerto Rican families from the small Caribbean island of Vieques to the U.S. Virgin Islands. The severe economic conditions fueled by the “Great Depression” compelled hundreds to migrate. Twenty years later, a second migration of women, men and children occurred. This was due to the U.S. Navy’s brutal expropriation and destruction that they inflicted on civilian lands, homes and properties.

This riveting documentary tells the story of Puerto Rican families’ survival of their journeys, their integration, and their contributions to the culture, economy and politics of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is narrated by actress Luna Lauren Vélez of the Emmy Award-winning Showtime series “Dexter.”

Filmmaker Johanna Bermudez-Ruiz, a graduate of Antioch College with a specialization in film studies, has a passion for storytelling. Born on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, she directed and produced the award-winning documentary “Vieques: An Island Forging Futures,” and recently completed “Sugar Pathways.”

Bermudez-Ruiz was nominated for Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color, and has won numerous awards including Maffa Film Festival Best Short Documentary, San Juan Cinema Fest Pitirre Award for Best Short Documentary, and the ImageNation Jury Special Mention Award.

For more information, call Andrea E. Leland at 715-0551 or

SJFS is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Virgin Island Council on the Arts and St. John Community Foundation.

For more information, contact the St. John Film Society at or visit