29th Galway Film Fleadh 11th – 16th July 2017
“Elián’s story may have been swallowed by the mists of time now, but the camera clearly shows that these still have the potential to be deep and treacherous waters indeed.”
— Screen Daily
November 25th, 1999 – The Florida Straits, three miles off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale. A five-year-old Cuban boy is rescued from the sea by a fisherman after the boat he was in sank. Frenzied news reports inform us that 11 passengers on the small boat, including the child’s mother, have drowned. As the boy, wrapped in a blanket, is bundled into an ambulance, his wide brown eyes stare straight at us through the lens of a news camera. This is Elián González, a boy caught between two worlds.
With unprecedented access to Elián González, his family and key players in the saga, Elián uses one boy’s remarkable journey to examine a pivotal moment in turbulent Cuban and US relations.
The film plots how the Elián González custody battle between his Cuban father and Miami-based relatives embodied and fed into the simmering tensions between the two countries, evoking the wrath of Cubans who wanted the boy returned to them and the Cuban-American exile community in Florida who wanted him too.
Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival
The producer will attend
Directors Tim Golden & Ross McDonnell
Cast Elián González
Script Tim Golden
Producer Trevor Birney
Country Ireland & USA
Duration 108 minutes