Movie "Che" to be shown at Cuba film festival

Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:03pm EST
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HAVANA (Reuters) - "Che," the movie about Argentine Ernesto "Che" Guevara who fought alongside Fidel Castro in the Cuban revolution, will be shown next month in Cuba, the director of Havana's New Latin American Film Festival said on Thursday.

Ivan Giroud told reporters the movie, made by U.S. director Stephen Soderbergh, would be a special presentation not eligible for any of the festival awards.

Festival president Alfredo Guevara said in July that "Che" would not be shown if it included any "attacks" against Castro, the ailing 82-year-old who led Cuba for 49 years after taking power in the 1959 revolution. His brother Raul Castro replaced him as president in February.

Puerto Rican-born actor Benicio Del Toro played the role of Che, who was captured and executed October 9, 1967, while trying to lead a leftist insurgency in Bolivia.

Del Toro won the best-actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May, where the film premiered.

The film was shot in Spain and Bolivia because, according to Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, the U.S. government, which has a 46-year-old trade embargo against Cuba, would not allow Soderbergh to make the movie on the Communist-led island.

Giroud said the film's principals would have to get U.S. permission to attend the showing.

He said the New Latin American Film Festival will show 114 films this year from countries throughout Latin America.

(Reporting by Rosa Tania Valdes; editing by Jeff Franks and Todd Eastham)