Rebel is a 2013 documentary that explores the forgotten tale of Loreta Velazquez, a Cuban woman in the Confederate South. Initially, she disguised herself as a man to fight for the Confederacy. Following her discovery, she continued to contribute to the war effort as a spy for the Confederate army. After the war’s end, Velazquez published a memoir telling her story.
Rebel reflects a changing priority in both Civil War film and documentaries towards forgotten stories over traditional war films. Movies of the 2010’s reflected a greater desire to share the experiences of women and others who did not fit into the traditional military narrative.
The documentary was well received by those who were able to see it; however, it did not have a wide release. As a result, it has not been reviewed by general film critics. Despite this, the movie has been praised as a resource for teachers.
William Davis, Inventing Loreta Velasquez: Confederate Soldier Impersonator, Media Celebrity and Con Artist, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2016.
Phillip Tucker, Cubans in the Confederacy: Jose Agustin Quintero, Ambrosio Jose Gonzales and Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Jefferson: McFarland & Co, 2002.
Loreta Velazquez, The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, New York: Arno Press, 1972.
Robin Sager,“The Multiple Metaphoric Civil Wars of Loreta Janeta Velazquez The Woman in Battle,” Southern Quarterly 48, no.1, (Fall 2010).
Coleman Hutchinson,“‘On the Move Again:’ Tracking the Exploits, Adventures and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez,” Comparative American Studies 5, no.4 (December 2007).
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