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90 Miles

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PBS Premiere: July 29, 2003


Probing and thoughtful, Juan Carlos Zaldívar's 90 Miles is a personal memoir that offers a rare glimpse into Cuba, a country as mythologized to Americans as the United States is to the rest of the world. The Cuban-born filmmaker recounts the strange fate that brought him as a teenage communist to exile in Miami in 1980 during the dramatic Mariel boatlift. Zaldívar uses news clips, family photos and home movies to depict the emotional journey of an immigrant father and son struggling to understand the historical and individual forces shaping their relationships and identities in a new country. A Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) Co-presentation. A Diverse Voices Project Selection.

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TAGS: cuba, exile, memoir, revolution

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Film Information

90 Miles (54 min.)

Premiere Date: July 29, 2003

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Juan Carlos Zaldívar Bio | Interview | Statement


Juan Carlos Zaldívar
Juan Carlos Zaldívar

Film Update

Critical Acclaim

By avoiding the contentious politics that usually overwhelms most films on the subject, 90 Miles succeeds as a touching meditation on family, forgiveness and reconciliation.”

— Kevin McDonough,
United Features
July 29, 2003

“. . . a point of view and careful treatment . . . offer a very specific view of a country that has been so mythologized . . . and the controversial experience of the Cuban exile. . . . In every moment, Zaldívar attempts to understand the reasoning of those who left the country as well as . . . those who stayed behind.”

— Juan Fernando Merino,
El Diario/La Prensa (New York)
July 29, 2003

“One of the most interesting aspects of the documentary . . . is the identity crisis that Zaldívar’s father undergoes on both sides of the Florida Straits. . . . As Juan Carlos and his father negotiate their perceptions of the past and carve out their relationship in the present, we are reminded that choosing exile is not simply a finite act of traveling 90 miles to freedom.”

— Mia Leonin,
Miami New Times
July 24, 2003

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