Elian

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.

Winner of the Junior Jury Award at Montclair Film Festival, Elián is a 2017 documentary film directed by Ross McDonnell and Tim Golden, produced by Irish documentary filmmaker Trevor Birney, and executive produced by Alex Gibney.

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.

‘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

Awards:

Montclair Film Festival (MFF) 2017, winner of the Junior Jury award

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