The acclaimed documentary based on the life of Elian Gonzalez premiered in Miami Wednesday.
"I think this film puts an important Miami story into an important historical context," Jaie Laplante, Executive Director for the Miami Dade College Miami Film Festival.
It's the story of a Cuban boy found in the Florida Straits after his mother and others died sea. It's also a tale of a months-long custody battle between Elian's father and his Miami relatives which sparked massive controversy in two countries just 90 miles away.
"We thought from the beginning that unless you respected the stories on both sides and gave people a chance to really tell their pieces of this you wouldnt be able to tell the story in a way that was deeper and more meaningful," said Tim Golden, writer and co-director.
The director says they spent years working on this film. Elian, his father, and Elian's cousin Marisleysis all played a major role in the battle and they were also the protagonists of the film.
"It is a story that reflects both sides of the issue. It is balanced," said Sylvia Iriondo with Mothers and Women Against Repression.
Panelists held a discussion after the documentary and agreed this was a story that needed to be told.
Throughout the film, the audience had mixed reactions but there was a collective sigh of disbelief when Elian said if he had a religion Fidel Castro would be his God.
"I hope and pray every night for the day that he really finds his true God. The God that saved him at the ocean," Elian's cousin Marisleysis Gonzalez.