Release date: 2002
Runtime: 120 min
Country: Spain
Director: Carles Bosch, Josep Mª Domènech
Writer: David Trueba, Carles Bosch
Cast: Guillermo Armas (Himself), Maria Celeste Arraras (Herself - archive footage), Rafael Cano (Himself), Fidel Castro (Himself - archive footage), Bill Clinton (Himself - archive footage), Miriam Hernández (Herself).
Language: Spanish
Color: Color
Official sites:
Storyline:"Balseros" is a film about real characters, complex and diverse human beings who take the risk of pursuing their dreams. People who leave their families behind to try and achieve a better economic life. No one is judging them. To the contrary, this film proposes to discover what they feel deep inside themselves. This is journalism, but constructed with the dramatic and narrative framework of pure fiction. The seven Cuban protagonists in this feature length film represent, with their personal experiences, the thousands of people from all corners of the planet who leave their homes in search of a supposedly better future. Their actions, hopes, longings, and fears correspond to those people we know as “illegal immigrants”; or those who are legalised, but subject to a multitude of restrictions. Their names do not matter, the media knows them as “balseros", "wetbacks", "sub-Saharans in rafts", "refugees", etc. The film treats a universal theme, one of the most topical of our time, but it also emphasises some characteristics – humour, music, depth of feeling– that are unmistakably Cuban. These things draw the viewer in to a deeper identification with the protagonists, as they confront their new lives. What happens to the “balseros” is the same thing that happens to any immigrant, but at the same time each person’s destiny is unique, because it corresponds to each individual’s personality.
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