7.3/10
545
9 user 18 critic

Balseros (2002)

The story of Cuban refugees who risked their lives in homemade rafts to reach the United States, and what life is like for those who succeed.

Directors:

Carles Bosch (as Carlos Bosch), Josep Maria Domènech

Writers:

Carles Bosch (as Carlos Bosch), David Trueba

On Disc

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Guillermo Armas Guillermo Armas ... Himself
Maria Celeste Arraras ... Herself (archive footage)
Rafael Cano Rafael Cano ... Himself
Fidel Castro ... Himself (archive footage)
Bill Clinton ... Himself (archive footage)
Oscar Del Valle Oscar Del Valle ... Himself
Mericys Gonzalez Mericys Gonzalez ... Herself
Misclaida Gonzalez Misclaida Gonzalez ... Herself
Miriam Hernández Miriam Hernández ... Herself
Juan Carlos Subiza Juan Carlos Subiza ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

The story of Cuban refugees who risked their lives in homemade rafts to reach the United States, and what life is like for those who succeed.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Bausan Films [Spain]

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

12 April 2002 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuban Rafters See more »

Filming Locations:

Cuba See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Featured in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rowing to the Promised Land
31 May 2004 | by jotix100See all my reviews

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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