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American “Papa” Hemingway Biopic Shot In Cuba Premieres This Week

As a sign of the growing thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba an American/Canadian production that was actually shot on the island is premiering this week at The Havana Film Festival. The film, called “Papa”, tells the tale of the last three years of Ernest Hemingway’s life and was shot in the actual places in which he used to habitate. Hemingway famously lived in Cuba for over 30 years, from the early 1930’s until just after Castro’s revolution in 1961 when he was forced to abandon his home Finca Vigia and his beloved boat The Pilar. Later that year, suffering from depression and alcoholism, he committed suicide in Ketchum, ID. His granddaughter Mariel worked on the film and actually got to experience a flavor of what her famous grandfather’s life must have been like. She said,

“The film shows something that a lot of people in the U.S. don’t know, which is the deep connection my grandfather had with Cuba. This island was his home for more than 30 years, and he considered Cubans to be his family. I came to Cuba 13 years ago and visited all the places related to the life of my grandfather. But this second time, for the filming, it was as if he had come back to life.”

I hope to see more and of this kind of joint film production happening as things continue to thaw between our two countries. I know I have a couple of film ideas I’d like to shoot there. I bet it would be cheap as hell.

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