This HBO film shares the story of the romance, writing, exploring, and passion in the chapter of writers Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn’s lives spent vivaciously shared with one another.
Their curiosity leads them from Key West to Spain where they cover the Spanish Civil War, then to Havana where they buy a house together - the famous Habanese Hemingway house with his many, many cats and in which he produced some of his best work, standing and smoking a cigar while writing from dawn to noon before he’d transition to the bar for his original drinks. Beyond their domestic life, the film shows them dancing and fiesta-ing at Havana’s famous Tropicana and walking and talking along the Malecon.
Martha Gellhorn is described in one-liners synopsizing the film as “the only woman ever to divorce Hemingway”. Nicole Kidman’s portrays Gellhorn’s determinacy, resourcefulness, independence, bravery, and strength to offer a romantic counterpart to the obstinate “man’s man” Hemingway. Their shared stubbornness, self-interest, and respective unwillingness to compromise are what electrically first drew them to one another but also later drove them apart.
For Hemingway fans and lovers of Cuba, the film shares the story of an important and oft-untold part of the writer’s professional success and early life in Havana, and that part is the happiness and inspiration he enjoyed and shared with the strong, intelligent Martha Gellhorn
There may be people walking the streets of Havana or Miami who carry blood traces of South Florida’s pre-Columbian civilizations. If so, their DNA would confirm a little-known chapter of shared history: the migration of Native Americans from Florida to Cuba when the territories were united under Spanish rule.
On the afternoon of March 4, 1960, the French ship La Coubre exploded in Havana Harbor while carrying several tons of Belgian munitions, killing about 75 people and injuring hundreds more. Alberto Korda’s Guerrillero Heróico, the now-iconic image of Che Guevara shown above, was taken at a memorial service for the victims of the La Coubre explosion held on March 5, the following day.