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FRONTLINE; Saving Elian


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Saving Elian
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered January 1983 Since January 1983, FRONTLINE has served as American public television's - PBS - flagship public affairs series. Hailed upon its television broadcast debut as "the last best hope for broadcast documentaries," FRONTLINE's stature over 23 years is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human experience. Series release date: 1/1983

Program Description

On November 25, 1999, a five-year-old Cuban boy was plucked from the shark-infested waters off Florida, and what began as a Thanksgiving story soon erupted into a political and social firestorm that transfixed the nation and rocked Miami's Cuban-American community to its core. FRONTLINE examines the passion and purpose behind the battle over Elian Gonzalez and its effect on both the Miami community and the Cuban-American cause. With footage from Miami and Cuba, and interviews with participants and observers on both sides of the controversy, the documentary explores how one little boy became a metaphor for a 40-year struggle for the future of a nation.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Public Affairs
Chicago: “FRONTLINE; Saving Elian,” 02/02/2001, GBH Archives, accessed April 17, 2024,
MLA: “FRONTLINE; Saving Elian.” 02/02/2001. GBH Archives. Web. April 17, 2024. <>.
APA: FRONTLINE; Saving Elian. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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