Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Detailed look at complex politics surrounding 2000 event.

Movie NR 2017 108 minutes
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This documentary is a well-made, even-handed look at a memorable historical event. The Elian Gonzales incident was complex; emotions ran extremely high, and, in the end, few people were left completely satisfied by the resolution. Elian, on the other hand, is straightforward, informative, and interesting, if lacking in urgency.

Filmmakers Tim Golden and Ross McDonnell do an excellent job of explaining how this boy became the center of an international conflict. They talk to the key people involved -- who, even decades later, have plenty to say -- and make great use of historical footage. They even talk to Elian, now a young man, who's quick to say that he's happy living in Cuba and never wanted to be a political pawn. The film places his role in the tense U.S.-Cuba relationship of the era, lessons that are still applicable today as that relationship is finally starting to thaw

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