Fires Within (1991)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  28 June 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 336 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Released after years as a political prisoner, a Cuban rejoins his wife and daughter in Miami.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Hernandez
Estella Sanchez
Raúl Dávila ...
Reuben (as Raul Davila)
Bri Hathaway ...
Daniel Fern ...
Kevin Duffis ...
Lázaro Pérez ...
Raul (as Lazaro Perez)
Angelina Estrada ...
Olga Rodriquez
Julia Rodriquez Elliot ...
Nancy Hernandez
Maria Vidal ...


Released after years as a political prisoner, a Cuban rejoins his wife and daughter in Miami.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 June 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Distant Shores  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because she'd never had them done previously, Greta Scacchi had to have her ears pierced especially for her role as Isabel, so that she would be able to wear the large gold hoop earrings favored by many Cuban women. See more »


In the flashback scene where Nestor receives a phone call while in bed, Isabel's earrings keep disappearing and reappearing throughout the scene. At the start of the scene, she's wearing small gold studs in both ears, but in the close-up shot where Nestor kisses her, she isn't wearing any earrings at all. As the scene continues, Isabel is again wearing the same small gold studs in both ears. When Nestor is getting ready to walk out of the door at the end of the scene, the earring in Isabel's left ear has vanished and she's just wearing one in her right ear. See more »


Pun Pun Catafu
Written by Johnny Pacheco
Performed by Willie Colón and Celia Cruz
Courtesy of Fania Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Potentially Good Film Ruined by Awful Editing
10 February 2003 | by (Florida, USA) – See all my reviews

Isabel (Greta Scacchi) is a Cuban refugee who escaped with her daughter to Miami, but was forced to leave behind her husband Nestor (Jimmy Smits). Nestor was taken prisoner by Fidel Castro's communist government and has not seen his family since. Sam (Vincent D'Onofrio), a young fisherman, saves Isabel and her daughter from a raft and the two fall for each other. Years later, Nestor escapes Cuba and arrives in Miami, eager to see his former family. Not only must Isabel choose between her estranged husband and her intense, somewhat frightening American lover, Nestor is being pestered by politically motivated Cubans who want him to continue working against Castro.

The story to this film is a promising tale of torn romance. What makes it better than most is that there are too choices which must be made: Isabel's choice between mild mannered and familiar Nestor or the short tempered Sam, and Nestor's choice between his wife and his country. This is ruined, however, by choppy editing and a whole slough of unnecesary sex scenes. I'm sure the director must be saddened to see her work turned into some marginal picture about a woman who the editors turned into a mindless f***-doll.

Scacchi's performance was very real and convincing, making the poor editing all the more unfortunate. Smits, who is quite a talented actor, seems like he must have been sick or something while they were filming, because he's sort of like a zombie in this movie; no fire seems to burn within him (pun intended). D'Onofrio gives another extreme performance which is good for people like me who enjoy what critics call "over acting". Good premise, but ruined in the cutting room. Worth watching once.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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