The political drama Thirteen Days has become a symbol of peace.
The film will bring together old enemies when it premieres this week in Cuba and Russia, two of the three major players during the tense 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. .
Organized by the Cuban film society, Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos, the screening will be attended by Cuban government officials who were involved in the Missile Crisis, known as the Crisis of October in Cuba, and members of the public. It is unclear whether President Fidel Castro will attend.
Almond will then travel to Moscow for a screening Wednesday hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A group of about 300 will attend, including some of the key figures who were involved in the crisis: former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Theodore Sorensen, the former special counsel to President Kennedy, and Anatoly Dobrynin, the former Soviet Ambassador to the United States. The discussion panel will explore the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S.-Russian relations, and nuclear risk issues that currently exist.
The film will open wide in Russia in May.
The event marks the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s first film screening in the nonprofit organization’s 90-year history, a spokeswoman for the think tank told the Hollywood Reporter.
Released nationwide earlier this year in the United States, Thirteen Days focuses on how the missile crisis pushed the Kennedy administration to the brink of war with Cuba and Russia. It is based on the The Kennedy Tapes – Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis. Directed by Roger Donaldson, the film stars Costner as Kenny O’Donnell, a White House aide and confidant to President Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) and his brother Robert F. Kennedy (Steven Culp). Dylan Baker portrays McNamara; Tim Kelleher portrays Sorensen.
The film has attracted worldwide political attention because of its importance and historical accuracy, said Gary Shapiro, Beacon Pictures’ vice president of worldwide marketing.
In the first few days of the President Bush administration, Bush requested a screening of the film and invited several members of the Kennedy family to watch it with him, including Sen. Ted Kennedy.
“If the White House pays attention, then so does the rest of the world.” Shapiro said Monday.
Shapiro confirmed that Castro personally requested the Cuba screening.
“We are proud to have made a film that has not only entertained audiences around the world but has also made people think and talk about the issues of power and leadership in the nuclear age,” Beacon chairman Bernstein told the Hollywood Reporter.
Bernstein and Almond conceived the idea of a film on the crisis five years ago.
“Both of these screenings culminate a broad public recognition of the film and this remarkable crossover to recognition from the highest levels of political leaders and public policy,” Almond said.