9 user 18 critic

Cuban Rafters (2002)

Balseros (original title)
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.


Carles Bosch (as Carlos Bosch), Josep Maria Domènech


Carles Bosch (as Carlos Bosch), David Trueba
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




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


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

Plot Keywords:

life | See All (1) »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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 »


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

User Reviews

Balseros 5
2 May 2004 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

Although its subject matter and characters are moving and dramatic, this Catalonian documentary seems a bit too planned to ring true, at least for me. A supposedly realistic account of the destiny of various Cubans –among thousands- who sailed from Havana to Florida in the early 1990's to escape Fidel Castro's regime, I find rather curious how the filmmakers move at ease from Havana to Guantánamo or Florida, and are always in the right place, at the right time. With the overt attitude of new conquistadors I have witnessed in many Spaniards' behavior in Latin America (which is one of the reasons I did not find the female character of "Y tu mamá también" as naïve as people seem to believe, but a true reflection of this neo-colonialist attitude I have directly observed), it makes me suspicious of the true intentions of this film, which I find more related to Spain's sensationalist publications and television programs than to real interest in the human drama of the Cubans' present situation. Due to the potentially explosive situations that may arise from this state of affairs, the film does not lack interesting segments and testimonies. But I believe that any film made about and in Cuba today will have similar impact. As an alternative, watch the Swedish documentary "Surplus."

8 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Bausan Films [Spain]





Release Date:

12 April 2002 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuban Rafters See more »

Filming Locations:

Cuba See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,111, 27 July 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed