The timely, real-life situation involves an attractive emigre (Greta Scacchi) and her infant daughter (Brit Hathaway), among the ‘raft people’ who continue to flee Cuba via open ocean on makeshift, floating deathtraps – hoping for landfall in the Florida Keys. They’re rescued by a seaman (Vincent D’Onofrio), with whom the woman forms a romantic relationship over the next eight years.
She left a husband behind in Cuba, Jimmy Smits as a writer imprisoned for criticizing the Castro regime. His sudden release and subsequent arrival in Miami as a hero creates a classic romantic triangle against the backdrop of Cuban emigre politics.
Director Gillian Armstrong’s attempt to cover all the emotional and political ramifications of Cynthia Cidre’s thoughtful tale is, for the most part, dramatically respectable. But it is a cold narrative that never lingers on any situation long enough to generate either suspense or romance.
Scacchi’s woman- in-the-middle role is confused at worst, detached at best. Smits, as the husband, garners the film’s appeal.