I missed this documentary when it ran for about two weeks at the Film Forum. I was hoping that it would resurface again, as was the case, when it was shown on cable not too long ago. Both film makers, Carlos Bosch and Jose Ma. Domenech must be commended for tackling the story about seven or eight "raft people" in pursuing their dream to go to the United States in search of a better life.
Cuba, after more of 45 years of communist rule, has been a monumental failure. I am sure that some people will argue that because the embargo and American policies toward that nation, things turned out the way they did. In the end one dictator was replaced by another. The paradise that was promised at the beginning of the revolution is still to be realized. In order to survive in Cuba today, one has to have either relatives abroad, or to belong to the inner circle. No one wants to face the reality that when Cuba was a Soviet Union colony, they could buy whatever it was needed, either on credit, or through gifts in way of oil and basic heavy machinery from its Russian bosses.
That a lot of the population wants to get out of the "tropical paradise" is no surprise. In the case of the people singled out in the documentary, only a few get to fulfill their dreams and get to live a modified "American Dream", while the other half failed miserably, maybe because the reality of the dream turned for them into a nightmare.
Of all the cases presented, only about three make something out of themselves. Their idea of how capitalism works is much more of whatever dreams they might have had. The reality of life in the United States, with its harsh realities, play havoc with a few of the new immigrants. That is the case of the former prostitute who turn into a drug dealer and the young black sculptor who gets involved with the wrong kind of crowd in New York.
This is a must see documentary that stays neutral neither in favor of the exodus, or against it.
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