Life in Cuba for three struggling families over the course of 45 years, from the cautious optimism of the early 1970s to the harrowing 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union and the 2016 death of Fidel Castro.
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It was originally a news video made in the mid 90s, when a lot of Cuban citizens started to try arriving at the USA by sea. Years later, the director and the director of photography tracked down the people of the video and filmed them at their new lives. See more »
Definitely not the most powerful documentary ever, but still moving
This is the story of many different Cuban lives intertwined, as they all hope of one day escaping Castro's communism and achieving the American Dream. However, the degree to which they achieve this varies widely. Some, like Rafael Cano are able to persevere and put their faith in God, and achieve the dream. However, another young woman who moves to Albuquerque becomes involved in drugs and falls into the depths of poverty, and is eventually even disowned by her own sister. She even says at one point that she wants to go back to Cuba, because it is "her own country." For this character, the American lifestyle was a lot less glamorous than it seemed from the outside.
I don't believe the film was making an overt political statement. Although it did show the passion with which these young men and women so desperately wanted to leave Cuba, it also portrayed the United States as villainous, with Clinton telling Cubans to go back to their own country, etc.
I wish the film had shown us more about the lifestyles these characters led in Cuba before fleeing to the U.S. From what I could tell, it seemed as if the only thing that excited Cuban people was the prospect of escaping to the "freedoms" offered by the United States. For instance, when someone was leaving the village with his or her raft, the entire village gathered around and bid him farewell, and then people proceeded to follow him with bikes. It was almost as if a president were passing by on a motorcade. So, I was really interested in learning about Cuban life under Castro, but I would imagine it is definitely not as mundane as the film (inadvertantly?) makes it out to be.
Overall: 6 stars out of 10
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