The Associated Press
April 10, 2001

Castro Shows at Missile Crisis Film


              HAVANA (AP) -- President Fidel Castro sat next to actor-producer Kevin
              Costner as Cuban officials joined Hollywood heavyweights at a private screening of
              ``Thirteen Days,'' Costner's movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis.

              ``It was fantastic. I enjoyed it very much,'' Costner told reporters Tuesday as he left
              the Hotel Nacional for an afternoon showing of the film. He saw it with Castro the
              night before.

              ``The president was quite animated throughout,'' Costner press agent Stephen
              Rivers said of the screening. ``He kept identifying scenes and people, especially the
              American officials, during the entire film.''

              The movie is told solely from the vantage point of President Kennedy and his staff,
              and focuses on the decision-making process that led to the removal of the Soviet
              missiles from Cuban soil in October 1962. Castro, who was in power at the time of
              the crisis, and other Cuban officials were not portrayed in the film.

              Costner and Castro were joined in the screening at the Palace of the Revolution,
              where Castro keeps his offices, by Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, Vice
              President Carlos Lage and members of Castro's personal staff. They later held a
              dinner that went into the wee hours of Tuesday, said Rivers.

              ``Everywhere we have taken this film it has had a positive response,'' Rivers said.
              ``Kevin was very appreciative of the time the president gave us and of the
              opportunity to show him the film.

              Costner arrived here Monday afternoon, accompanied by fellow producers Aryan
              Bernstein, Beacon Pictures chairman, and Peter Almond, along with several others.
              Also in the group were Costner's companion, Christine Baumgartner, and Chris
              Lawford, a member of the Kennedy family who also appeared in the movie.

              On Tuesday morning, the group was screening the film to Cuban audiences and the
              New Latin Cinema Film Institute. Group members were hopeful that Castro would
              show up again at a Tuesday afternoon screening at the Palace of Conventions.

              ''(Castro) was quite engaged and seemed interested in continuing the conversation''
              at a subsequent screening, Rivers said.

              ``Thirteen Days'' opened in the United States in January and got its first high-profile
              screening the following month at the White House, where it was viewed by
              President Bush and members of the Kennedy family.

              New Line Cinema then had the movie about the U.S.-Soviet nuclear showdown
              sent to the international space station for the enjoyment of its crew -- two Russians
              and an American.

              In the movie, Costner stars as Kenny O'Donnell, a White House aide to President
              Kennedy and his brother Robert.

              The film is based on the book ``The Kennedy Tapes -- Inside the White House
              During the Cuban Missile Crisis.''