Elián (2017)



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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.

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Critic Reviews for Elián

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3)

Your sympathy and judgment coexist, no matter how wince-inducing it gets with each turbulent turn. Context is everything here.

Jun 1, 2017 | Full Review…

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.

May 15, 2017 | Full Review…

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.

May 9, 2017 | Full Review…

Captures the simmering tension of this historical moment. It meticulously weaves together talking head interviews and archival footage to provide contextual groundwork for a larger conversation about the complicated nature of Cuban/American relations.

Aug 21, 2018 | Full Review…

Most evocative are the interviews with Elián, now in his early twenties and living in Cuba, whose profound humility and collectedness belie the trauma and notoriety of his early childhood.

Nov 21, 2017 | Full Review…

Detailed look at complex politics surrounding 2000 event.

May 25, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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