The Miami Herald
March 21, 2000
Film offers glimpse of Castro's life

 Agence France-Presse

 HAVANA -- A documentary on Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution is being
 screened without fanfare in Cuba.

 For the first time Cubans can see their president swimming, followed closely by
 six bodyguards, in turquoise waters off a Cuban beach, visiting his childhood
 home, or meditating at the grave of his parents.

 Fidel: 40 Years of the Cuban Revolution and its Leader is the work of Estela
 Bravo, a U.S. filmmaker who lives part time in Cuba.

 In production five years, the Castro documentary was first presented in Cuba in
 December during a festival of Latin American film in Havana. This week it is to
 inaugurate the first national documentary festival in Santiago de Cuba.

 The film draws a flattering portrait of the Cuban president based on anecdotes
 from his older brother Ramon, admiring testimonials from teachers at the Jesuit
 school he attended, and comrades from his guerrilla days in the Sierra Maestra.
 Also interviewed were friends such as writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, South
 Africa's former president Nelson Mandela, and Danielle Mitterrand, widow of
 former French president Francois Mitterrand.

 The film shows Castro meeting with the pope and the king of Spain and strolling
 in Havana and Harlem. It also captures rare private moments of the Cuban leader.

 Two short phrases in the film allude to his personal life. ``Cubans actually know
 very little about the personal life of Fidel,'' says the narrator, then: ``Rumor has it
 that he has seven children and has been married for almost 30 years.''

 The few images of his private life date from before the revolution, such as
 photographs of his 1948 wedding to Mirta Diaz Balart, whom he divorced two
 years later, and 1960s footage in which Castro, accompanied by his son Fidelito,
 is responding in English to questions from a U.S. journalist.

                     Copyright 2000 Miami Herald