In 2000, the United States and Cuba were at war. Not over embargoes or political ideology, but over the future of a 6-year-old Cuban boy.
The child had been found months earlier clinging to an inner tube off Florida after his mother and others drowned trying to reach the United States. In Cuba, his father wanted him back; his family in Miami wanted to keep him here.
The boy is a man now — and when he appears at the start of a new documentary that bears his name, he says simply: "I'm Elián González. You may remember me, you may not ..."
After nearly 17 years, it's safe to say there are many people in South Florida — especially in Miami's Cuban exile community — who will never forget him.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tim Golden, who covered the Elián saga for New York Times Magazine as the story was unfolding, is the writer and co-director of the new documentary "Elián," which opens Friday in South Florida.
In the interview below, he chats with WLRN's Christine DiMattei about the lingering effects the Elián story had on Miami — and the world.
IF YOU GO:
O Cinema Miami Beach
500 71st St, Miami Beach, FL 33141
IN BROWARD COUNTY:
Cinema Paradiso, Hollywood
2008 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, FL 33020