Director: Suzanne Wasserman
Country: USA
Year of Production: 2003
Total Running Time: 50 min
Language: English
Rating: PG



The tale of Janet Rosenberg is almost too fantastic to be believed. It’s the love story of two idealistic young radicals, the Chicago-born Rosenberg and Cheddi Jagan, a native of Guyana on South America’s northern coast, who fell in love, married and set off for the British colony to start a socialist revolution.

Though Jagan and Rosenberg became the most important political figures in Guyana, they also faced arrest, repression and the active oppression and intervention of world figures such as Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy. At one point, the British press even dubbed Rosenberg the “”Second Eva Peron.””

After years of tireless work, free and fair elections were finally instituted in Guyana in the early 1990’s, and Janet Rosenberg-Jagan was elected the first foreign-born, female president of the country in 1997. Combining biographical portrait with social and political history, THUNDER IN GUYANA illuminates an overlooked corner of recent history in a story packed with real drama.


Suzanne Wasserman is an historian and award-winning filmmaker. She has a Ph.D. in American History from New York University. She is the Director of the Gotham Center for New York City History at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. Wasserman lectures, writes and consults about New York City history, especially the history of the Lower East Side. She has published widely on topics such as the Great Depression, Jewish nostalgia, housing, restaurant culture, tourism, pushcart peddling, silent films, 19th century saloons and 21st century street fairs. She was an historical consultant on Ron Howard’s, Cinderella Man. She is the co-author of Life on the Lower East Side, 1937-1950: Photographs by Rebecca Lepkoff (Princeton Architectural Press, 2006) which is in its third printing.