FNND is a longtime fan of Ernest Hemigway – the prolific writer and hard living man loved and lived in Cuba from 1939 to 1960 – until he heard that Fidel Castro’s new revolutionary government could be taking all American property.
The cult of Hemingway has since become entangled with that of the island. Now, a team have completed a major Hemingway biopic called ‘Papa’. It is the first major Hollywood film to actually use Cuba as a site to film in for over half a century. So it makes sense that last month saw the international premiere as part of Havana, Cuba’s 37th International Festival of New Latin Cinema.
The movies focus is on the story of the friendship between Hemingway and a journalist. The movie and its producers worked very hard for the cooperation from the Cuban authorities to allow filming there.
Bob Yari – The films director had insisted that filming anywhere else was not an option, despite hiccups including lack of internet access and last-minute cancellations of consent for filming in a boat. “It was an absolute passion to actually make it in Cuba, where everything that is in the script happened, where the finca is where he lived, where his boat was, all the spots from the Morro castle to Cojimar where he fished. It’s all here, so trying to duplicate it somewhere else was not very appealing.”
Papa slid past the embargo by being technically classed as a documentary, because it is based on a true story. some people could say the film production appears to be the latest small step towards an easing of tensions between Cuba and the United States, but it is more likely that there remains large divisions between the two countries but there is a shared love of the great author.
‘Papa’ is due to be released very soon