Executive-produced by Alex Gibney, the documentary shares the remarkable story of Elian Gonzalez, the 5-year-old Cuban boy plucked from the Florida Straits on Thanksgiving Day in 1999. After his mother and others perished at sea, the custody battle between Gonzalez's Cuban father and Miami-based relatives sparked a flash point for simmering post-Cold War U.S. and Cuban tensions. ELIÁN recounts the story of a Cuban boy named Elián González who, on Thanksgiving Day in 1999, was found floating on an inner tube in the Florida Straits, an event that set in motion a bitter custody battle between Elián's Cuban father and US relatives. Set to the backdrop of a tense and acrimonious relationship between the US and Cuba, the documentary features a wealth of contemporary news archive and gives unprecedented access to key players in the saga, including an exclusive interview with the boy himself, now a 23-year old man. A story of family and the challenges of reconciliation, the documentary uses one boy's remarkable journey to plot the path to rapprochement between Cuba and the US, and is underscored by a deeply moving personal and political commentary.
Critic Reviews‘Your sympathy and judgment coexist, no matter how wince-inducing it gets with each turbulent turn. Context is everything here.’ Los Angeles Times ‘For the most part the film chronicles the complex tale cogently and effectively, using extensive archival footage as well as contemporary interviews that help put the events in context.’ Hollywood Reporter ‘We see the resilience of the adult Elián when he takes a swim near a Cuban beach: After all he's endured, he's not afraid of the water.’ Village Voice
AwardsMontclair Film Festival (MFF) 2017, winner of the Junior Jury award
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