HBO shelves Castro documentary after arrests, executions
By FRAZIER MOORE
NEW YORK --Oliver Stone's documentary on Fidel Castro has been postponed
indefinitely by HBO, which had planned to broadcast the
film next month.
Stone spent three days with Castro in February 2002 in an attempt to
portray the human figure.'' But HBO, which had promoted
"Comandante'' as "an unflinching portrait of the famous icon,'' said Stone's interpretation was undercut by the Cuban leader's recent
"In light of recent alarming events in the country, the film seems somewhat
dated or incomplete,'' said HBO spokeswoman Lana Iny, who
characterized the film as ``still in the works.''
Governments and rights groups around the world have condemned Cuba in
recent weeks for its crackdown on the opposition, followed by
the executions last week of three men convicted of hijacking a ferry filled with passengers in a bid to get to the United States.
At February's Berlin Film Festival, where ``Comandante'' was screened,
Stone said his three-day encounter with the communist leader left a
``We should look to him as one of the Earth's wisest people, one of
the people we should consult,'' said Stone, director of such features as
``JFK'' and ``Nixon.''
On Thursday, Iny said HBO is ``talking to Oliver about going back to
Cuba'' to pose questions to Castro about the arrests and executions.
``We'll have to look at what Oliver's able to do.''
The Cuban American National Foundation praised HBO's move.
``To have provided a platform for Castro to try to whitewash his sins
would have been an unforgivable insult to the thousands of men and
women who suffer in his tropical gulag,'' said Jorge Mas Santos, chairman of the Cuban exile group.