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Southern Circuit scores with Ghost Town to Havana

With baseball season in the offing, the timing is perfect for the Southern Circuit screening of Ghost Town to Havana, a flavorful documentary that looks at baseball not only as a national pastime but an international one.

Writer/director and first-time producer Eugene Corrjuxtaposes the efforts of two passionate coaches — Roscoe Bryant from the Oakland neighborhood known as “Ghost Town,” and Nicolas Reyes from Havana – as they mentor their players, most of whom exist in a world of hardship and sometimes tragedy. The same is true of the coaches, who selflessly devote themselves to their players even at their own personal (and private) expense.

The basic narrative of the film is that Bryant’s and Reyes’ teams will play each other, a notion fraught with political landmines, given the often-strained (to say the least) relations that exist between the United States and Cuba. But the film also zeroes in on the individual, be it player or coach, exploring each one’s specific dilemma, often in intimate and heartfelt terms.

This is a film that knows baseball and loves baseball, and the scenes shot in Cuba (by Roberto Chile, deservedly credited as co-director) have been seamlessly integrated with those shot in the United States. The political element is present, as is Corr’s relationship with his namesake father (a legendary West Coast baseball coach), but these act as seasoning for the film’s primary focus, which is on the coaches and the players – as well as the respective environments in which they exist.

In some cases, the Cuban players have more advantages than their American counterparts (not the least of which is ongoing parental involvement in their lives), although neither side truly has it easy. That’s where the game comes into play, so to speak. It’s their outlet, their common bond. Anyone who’s ever loved the game of baseball will find Ghost Town to Havana a heart-warming and heart-tugging valentine, although it never shies away from the harsh realities of life which so often intrude on the pursuit of such passion.

(In English and Spanish with English subtitles)

Ghost Town to Havana will be screened 7 pm Tuesday, April 12 in The Crown at the Carolina Theatre (310 S. Greene St., Greensboro) with filmmaker Eugene Corr and “Ghost Town” coach Roscoe Bryant scheduled to attend. Tickets are $7 (general admission) or $6 (students, senior citizens, military). For advance tickets or more information, call 336.333.2605 or visit the official Carolina Theatre website: http://www.carolinatheatre.com/. The official Ghost Town to Havana website is http://www.ghosttowntohavana.com/. !

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