Balseros (2003): Powerful Documentary of Cuban Rafters and the Crew that Followed them

This powerful documentary details the heroic and risky exertions of both rafters immigrant and the filmmakers who followed them for a length period of time, both in Cuba and in the US, sort of shipwrecked in two different cultures.

It begins in the summer of 1994, when a team of public TV reporters interviewed seven Cubans and their families

Afterwards, setting out to sea in homemade rafts to reach the coast of the United States was a risky enterprise.

One of the balseros (rafters) was on a raft that was not seaworthy and had to return to Havana. The others were later picked up at sea by the U.S. Coast Guard and taken to the North American naval base at Guantanamo.

While there, the film crew recorded their many months of confinement. Their families in Cuba had no news of them. When the balseros were finally allowed to go to the US, the crew went with them to Miami; the Bronx; York, Pennsylvania; Grand Isle, Nebraska; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and other places to which the immigrants went.

Seven years later, the film crew visited them again to find out their lifestyles and destinies in the intervening time.