• Golden Globe Awards

Wasp Network (Spain/France/Brazil/Belgium)

Havana, early 1990s. René González is a pilot and rather discontented with his life in Cuba. He makes the difficult decision to escape, leaving his wife Olga and young daughter Irma behind for a new life in America. He steals a small plane and flies to Miami, where he becomes a reluctant member of a group of Cuban Exiles, calling themselves Hermanos de Rescate (Brothers to the Rescue), who are violently anti-Fidel Castro and organize paramilitary operations geared towards destroying Cuban tourism. René soon realizes that they are also connected to a more secretive organization called the Wasp Network whose members smuggle drugs and weapons. The intrigue that ensues involves layers of espionage and counterespionage.
Historically correct, this film is a true story. González ended up spending 12 years in prison after being captured by the FBI, his wife and daughter were deported back to Cuba and the only person profiting off all of this was his lover Ana who sued the Cuban government and was awarded $27 million (of which she has only collected 200.000, though). The film is directed by Oliver Assayas based on Fernando Morais’ book “The Soldiers of the Cold War”.
“It’s a journalist’s book, it’s also a partisan book,” says Assayas about his attraction to the topic, “so I used what felt almost like a documentary. I used it as raw material for a screenplay, but really what interested me was the human side of the story. That individuals can be crushed by the will of history.” Shooting in a country – Cuba – far away from the technical advantages of the film industry, proved difficult, he adds: “Even to send money to Cuba is difficult. It was difficult for the set design, for the costumes and for everything that has to do with technical (departments). You have to bring everything in, and they don’t have the experience of working on that format of that kind of movie.”
The producers considered shooting in other Latin American locations after Cuba initially turned them down but decided on the original locations after convincing the Cuban government. “You have this incredible architecture, crumbling and falling apart. That’s visually very powerful”, says the director. Wasp Network stars Edgar RamírezPenélope CruzWagner Moura is his partner, Gael García BernalAna de Armas, the only real Cuban in the cast, is his lover.