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Balseros (2002)

Director: Carlos Bosch, Carlos Bosch
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Studio: New Video Group
Genre: Documentary, Foreign, Political & Social Issues, Spain
Running Time: 120 min.
Languages: English
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In 1994, after local protests against his regime had reached a fever pitch, Cuban leader Fidel Castro made a surprising announcement -- that any ships that wished to leave Cuba would not be stopped by his seagoing forces. Before long, dozens of jerry-rigged vessels were attempting to make the 90-mile journey to the United States across shark-infested waters, but American president Bill Clinton responded by announcing the Cubans would not be given asylum, while those who had already arrived were sent to a refugee camp in Guantanamo Bay. The Cuban expatriates at Guantanamo Bay had to wait nine months before they were allowed to enter the U.S. and begin the long process of finding new homes in America. Filmmaker Carlos Bosch followed the stories of the Cuban exiles, and, in 1999, tracked down a handful of them to see how they had fared in their first five years in their new country. Balseros is a documentary which shares the stories of the Cuban settlers and the surprising places (both good and bad) where the dream of freedom has taken them. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

From The New York Times: "Balseros was completed with the aid of the screenwriter David Trueba (Vengo, 2000; Two Much, 1996), whose compositional skills no doubt helped to spin the seven different strands of the story into a coherent and emotionally satisfying tale. But it remains a documentary at heart, full of astonishing glimpses of human resiliency that have nothing to do with artfulness and everything to do with patience, persistence and sympathy."

GreenCine Member Reviews

The Grass is Always Greener Syndrome...... by ChefCFP July 16, 2006 - 1:57 PM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This documentary is sobering- until you actual *watch* people risk their lives on homemade rafts for political freedom it's hard to believe what people will sacrifice. Unfortunately there aren't any happy stories here. It is also a very superficial coverage- you don't get a really good idea of their personal motivations for some of the choices they make. In sum, moving but essentially superficial.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.87)
15 Votes
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Indianapolis International Film Festival
Films that showed at the Indianapolis International Film Festival - which began in 2004

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