Private Project


BOMPLÉ takes a look at the powerful and sonically immersive worlds of Bomba and Plena, two Afro Puerto Rican music genres, and how they evolved from their racialized, highly stigmatized past through the diaspora of Puerto Ricans to North Philadelphia. Through sensory filmmaking and collaborative practices, BOMPLÉ grapples with conversations of racial politics, national identity and diasporic pride - all while beating drums, shaking maracas, and flailing skirts.

  • Joseph Spir
  • Joseph Spir Rechani
  • Alberto Pagán Ramírez
  • Roberto Morales
  • Kimberly Pabón
  • Joseph Spir Rechani
  • Arantxa Vega Llorente
  • Becca Matson
  • Vanessa Morales
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student, Other
  • Genres:
    Visual Ethnography, Performance, Music
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 30, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Joseph Spir

Joseph is a Senior at Haverford College studying Anthropology with minors in Visual Studies and Spanish. He was born in Colombia, but has lived in Spain, Florida, and Puerto Rico, where his mother is from. Due to his multicultural upbringing, Joseph has always been keen to traveling, connecting with people, and exploring the similarities and differences that surround us. After graduating, Joseph will keep calling Philadelphia home by working in Temple University's International Admission Office. In the foreseeable future, however, Joseph intends to attend graduate school and is hoping to enter the Academia. His passions lie within decolonial studies, performance studies, and Latin American and Caribbean studies, all while using the camera as his principal medium.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This is my first film, and it is also being used for my Senior Thesis at Haverford. This film hints at a lot of different topics, but mainly, it is trying to understand Puerto Rican racial politics and the sense of national identity through the Puerto Rican diaspora to Philadelphia, and it is trying to do so through an ethnomusicology perspective, by looking at Bomba and Plena. This film hits very close to home, since I have tried to understand my own Puerto Rican identity outside of the island, and while this is only a 13-minute film, it is a project that I have also invested hours in, even way before starting production. I am trying to draw the audience in through sound, image, and performance. It is also still in development, and I hope to expand more on the questions of race, national identity, and belonging as I do more interviews and look closer at the lives of the film's collaborators, as well as my own life.