A film by Lisandro Pérez-Rey.
USA/Cuba, 2003, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles

Subjects: Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, American Studies, Cuba, Migration, Political Studies.


It began with a bus crashing through the gates of an embassy in Havana and unraveled into one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of human migrations. As Fidel Castro briefly allowed Cubans to leave the island, nearly 130,000 of them left their homeland in an unrelenting stream of vessels bound for America. 25 years later, the personal stories surrounding the Mariel Boatlift continue to resonate with an energy that can only be described as surreal and powerful.

Weaving together these riveting stories along with rare historical images and footage from present-day Cuba, this film recreates this "explosion of 1980," a crisis that shook the very foundations of Cuban as well as American society. With unprecedented access to archival material, and numerous interviews to “murielitos,” Pérez-Rey constructs the most complete work to date on the infamous Mariel Boatlift.

Award of Merit in Film by the Latin American Studies Association
Made in Miami Film and Video Festival 2003 - Audience Award, Best Doc Feature
San Diego Latino Film Festival 2003
Providence Latin American Film Festival 2004
One World Film Festival (Czech Republic) 2004

“Impressive both for effectively documenting the scope of the exodus and for capturing its participants’ disparate tales, “Beyond the Sea” manages to be at once historically elucidating and personally compelling.” — Lael Loewenstein, Variety
“The film is most powerful when it allows its subjects to talk about the oppressive regime they fled... the survivors' hopes, dreams and emotions always remain in focus.” — Raven Snook, Time Out New York
“Beyond the Sea grants a quiet dignity to its subjects without sanctifying them. And the less-than-ideal outcome of many of their lives rings all the more powerfully for being so plainly presented.” — David Ng, Village Voice
“Lisandro Pérez-Rey's excellent documentary is a riveting account of one of the most extraordinary events in U.S. immigration history... Perez-Rey's succinct documentary does a superb job of shedding light on circumstances that, for a variety of reasons, have been misrepresented and badly misunderstood.” — Ken Fox, TV Guide


Lisandro Pérez-Rey (Director): As an independent producer and director, Lisandro Perez-Rey has completed several short films and documentaries, many of which deal with Cuban-Americans in Miami. Lisandro is the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Oscar B. Cintas Foundation Fellowship for artists of Cuban descent. Más Allá del Mar (Beyond the Sea) is his first feature-length endeavor and may represent the most complete work to date on the infamous Mariel Boatlift of 1980. It involved extensive research at moving picture archives around the world, filming in Cuba, and months of collecting oral history from subjects around the United States. His second documentary— LA Fabri K (The Cuban Hip Hop Factory) follows a group of Cuban rappers from their humble homes in Havana through their groundbreaking concert tour of the United States.



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