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Ask the Dust is a 2006 film based on the book Ask the Dust by John Fante. The movie was written and directed by Robert Towne. Tom Cruise (with Paula Wagner and Cruise/Wagner Productions) served as one of the film's producers. The film was released on a limited basis on March 17, 2006. It was filmed almost entirely in South Africa with the use of stages to portray Los Angeles. The story is set during the Great Depression, specifically around the time of the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Camilla (Salma Hayek) is a fiery, beautiful Mexican café waitress who aspires one day to be above her current standing in society. She wishes to do this by marrying a wealthy man from the United States. Her plan is thrown into disarray when she meets Italian-American Arturo Bandini (Colin Farrell). Farrell's character is portrayed as a struggling writer who comes to Los Angeles's Bunker Hill area to start his writing career. The rights to the novel once belonged to Mel Brooks, though he let them lapse....
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