The unlikely tale of the Panther and the movie producer. In a new TV series, '' The Big Cigar, '' how a Hollywood executive helped Huey P. Newton flee to Cuba in 1974.

When the movie producer Bert Schneider met the Black Panther Party Leader Huey P. Newton, he swooned.

Schneider, who had helped revolutionize the movie industry [ and made a lot of money ] as a producer of films like '' Easy Rider, '' wanted to shake up things off the screen as well.

He saw Newton, who had already done a prison stint for the killing of a police officer - Newton denied that he shot the police officer, and the conviction was eventually overturned - as the real deal, a star on the front lines of the actual revolution.

Their unlikely partnership is now the heart of the new limited series '' The Big Cigar,'' which premiered on May 17 on Apple TV +.

It's a caper about how Newton [ played by Andrew Holland ] fled to Cuba in 1974 after he was arrested and charged with a murder of a prostitute [ also a crime he claimed he didn't commit].

Schneider [ Alessandro Nivola ] ponied up cash and logistical assistance, including a fake film production, to help Newton escape.

'' Cigar '' tells a wild tale with shootouts and chases and a couple of strange bedfellows : a Black revolutionary on the run and a well-coiffed Hollywood power player looking to bankroll him.

Even as it takes some liberties with the facts, the series reflects the ties that existed between some counterculture entertainment figures and radical organizations of the 60s and 70s.

'' We didn't see it as a story of Hollywood patting itself on the back,'' Jim Hecht, a writer and an executive producer, said in a video interview. '' There was a time when people actually did put their bodies on line and do things for a cause that they believed in. They took personal risks to do things that were political.''

Based on a 2012 Playboy magazine article by Joshuah Bearman, who also wrote the article on which another fake movie caper, '' Argo'' was based, '' The Big Cigar '' recreates an improbable slice of underground history.

In a video interview, Holland [ '' Moonlight,'' '' Selma''] recalled his initial reaction upon reading the script : '' Really? This actually happened? Let me go fact check this.'' He did.

Though the story is largely fictionalized, the basic elements of it are based in truth,'' he said. '' Crazy story.''

The World Students Society thanks Chris Vognar.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!