The new biographical film, Papa: Hemingway in Cuba, will premiere at the Lake Theatre on Thursday night at 7:15 and 9:30 p.m., April 28 and run for at least one week, possibly two. 

The first Hollywood film shot in Cuba since the 1950s (before the Castro revolution), the story focuses on precisely that period, the author’s final days in Cuba, where he had lived since 1939. Though it reportedly took a decade to complete, it was shot on location, including Hemingway’s home, “Finca Vigia,” which is now a Cuban museum. The Hemingways departed in a hurry and left everything just as it was.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, “Papa tells the story of journalist Denne Bart Petitclerc’s friendship with Hemingway, and is based on an autobiographical script by Petitclerc. The film was directed by Bob Yari, and stars Giovanni Ribisi as a young Petitclerc and Adrian Sparks as Hemingway.” Sparks once performed a one-man show about Hemingway, so he should have been comfortable in the role. 

According to Wikipedia, Petitclerc wrote the screenplay and had begun work on production of the film when he died in 2006.

Anyone who has been to Cuba will want to see this just for the locations, which, according to clips, look like the real thing.

Ken Trainor

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