“Lejos de la Isla”, a documentary from L.E. Salas, poignantly presents the Cuban exile experience to the English speaking audience.
The filmmaker’s introduction:
Lejos de la Isla tells the story of those closely affected by the 47 years of the Cuban Revolution. Prior to Fidel Castro’s reign, Cuba was open to immigration. However, once Castro proclaimed himself dictator of Cuba, one of the largest exodus recorded began, one that continues today, 47 years after the Cuban Revolution.
Six central characters of the film discuss in detail their personal experiences through Operation Pedro Pan, the Freedom Flights, El Mariel, the Rafter Crisis, and the Cuban Visa Lottery.
Dr. Luis Martinez-Fernandez, Cuban Scholar, Historian and chief editor of The Encyclopedia of Cuba, speaks in length about events that lead to the revolution and identifies the history of Cuban Immigration. Dr. Victor Andres Triay, Cuban-American Historian, Professor and Author of Fleeing Castro and Bay of Pigs, discusses the rise of the revolution and the failures of the Bay of Pigs attack due to lack of promised U.S. support. Yvonne Conde, a journalist and author of Operation Pedro Pan, shares here personal experience of the first year of the revolution as well as being one of the 14,000 Cuban Children who were sent out of Cuba as part of an underground program called Operation Pedro Pan.
Another feature in Lejos de la Isla is Lauradis Salas, a centrl character of the film, who voyages back to Cuba after leaving in 2002 as part of the Cuban Visa Lottery to see the family she left behind.
Lejos de la Isla, is an undoubtedly emotionally charged documentary that examines the ongoing crisis between both the people of Cuba and Cuban exilic communities that exist throughout the U.S.
For more on the making of “Lejos de la Isla”, click here.