‘Return to Ithaca’ removed from Havana film festival

 havana-live-cantetHavana,10 December (AFP) The film “Return to Ithaca,” a story of Cuban friendship and disillusionment with the country’s revolution was delisted from Havana’s Latin American film festival, the film’s producers said Tuesday.

French producer Didar Domehri told AFP the director of the festival Ivan Giroud had sent producers a letter of acceptance after he saw the film in Toronto and then later he sent a letter rescinding the offer. “We do not know the reasons of the cancellation. It’s hard for us and for all the Cubans of the team,” she said.
The film directed by Laurent Cantet tells the story of five friends who celebrate one of their friends’ return to Cuba after a 16-year exile in Spain. It had not obtained a formal approval from Cuban authorities for showing in the Communist island country, producers said. The film was shot over the course 17 days in Havana with Cuban actors, including star Jorge Perugorria.

“Return to Ithaca” takes place on a single night on a sea-side terrace. The film uses the friends to tell a story of disillusionment after the Cuban revolution and the struggles of the economic crisis following the collapse of the Soviet empire. Co-written by renowned Cuban writer and journalist Leonardo Padura, the film received recognition at several film festivals
. When asked about the film’s absence, the festival director Giroud said that the film’s category was no longer permitted. The producers still want the film to be seen by the Cuban public. “It would be good for Cubans to see this film. It is not a political film, but Cuban history, human history,” Domehri said.