Project Date / Dec 2012
Format / 1 x 60'
Of the many mysteries swirling around Cuba, there’s one that has captured the imagination of cubaphiles, auto- enthusiasts, and dreamers: “What happened to Ernest Hemingway’s car?”
Exactly fifty years after the Nobel-prize-winning author departed Cuba – his home for 22 years – his long-lost 1955 Chrysler New Yorker convertible has finally been found, derelict and near to ruin.
Cuba’s vast repository of classic American automobiles is synonymous with the surreal and sensual nation, and Hemingway’s much-sought-after vehicle is potentially the most valuable and important of them all.
Guided by acting and singing legend David Soul, we plan to reveal the mystery of what happened to this renowned car after Hemingway’s departure, and to follow its restoration by Cuba’s underfunded yet resourceful and expert repairmen struggling against odds we can barely imagine.
The hour-long documentary will follow the process of sourcing the replacement parts, shipping them to Cuba and, most importantly, restoring the car in time for the International Hemingway Colloquium, in Havana, in June 2013.
The story of the car’s restoration will also be the narrative around which we build a fascinating insight into contemporary Cuba – an irresistible yet much-misunderstood Communist island of eccentricity, eroticism, and enigma, in which Hemingway is considered a national treasure and baseball is the national sport… serving alongside the beloved Detroit classics – from creaky Cadillac taxis to Chevrolet Impalas with fins sharp enough to draw blood – as ambassadors of an abiding affection that still binds the two nations together.
This all-Cuban restoration of the vehicle, and David’s unique access, guarantee a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to document something unique.