Castro Shows at Missile Crisis Film
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
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
``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
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,''
``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
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
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
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.''