HBO Postpones Broadcast of Oliver Stone's Castro Doc
by Brian Brooks
HBO has pulled the plug, at least temporarily, on Oliver Stone's documentary "Comandante," which the premium channel had planned to broadcast next month. The project, which debuted at Sundance, followed by a screening at the Berlinale in February, depicts three days of interviews conducted by Stone. It was scheduled to air on HBO on May 5th. The move came amid recent events in Cuba that are being deplored by the United States and others.
"The country has changed," an HBO spokesperson told indieWIRE Thursday, referring to Cuba. "In light of the recent events, the film seems dated. We are asking Oliver to return to Cuba to ask Fidel about these recent events."
Cuba recently cracked down hard on internal dissent in the wake of the U.S. lead war in Iraq and the government arrested 75 opponents of President Castro's regime and jailed them with terms of up to 28 years. Reports indicated that the U.S. lead invasion of Iraq compelled the government to deal a severe blow to opposition within the country. Additionally, last week the Cuban government swiftly executed three men who had hijacked a ferry in order to sail to Florida.
"We should look to him as one of the earth's wisest people, one of the people we should consult," Stone said in a statement about Castro during the Berlinale, according to the Associated Press.
A Stone representative did not return a call seeking comment from indieWIRE, although press reports indicated that the director was in Europe working on a new film project.