12/13/08

Che

movie poster courtesy of IFC Films
Running at almost 4 hours and a half, Steven Soderbergh's "Che" is a two-part movie that encompasses about two decades in the life of the Marxist revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevarra. One part shows the successful armed struggle against a dictatorship in Cuba and the second part is the doomed foray into the jungles of Bolivia on his quest for another uprising.

After watching such a long movie - slated to be released as 2 movies early in 2009 - I felt like having lived the life of a guerrilla. Part of it is about leading a very nomadic existence, always running into something or running away from something. In Cuba, Che and his men were on the offensive. In Bolivia, it's the other way around.

In this movie, it's interesting to see how ideological adherence has shaped such a man as Che - here personified by a flawless Benicio del Torro - into fomenting revolutions even beyond Cuba. He sees poverty and feels it himself. Che believes the only path out of poverty for the campesinos is to rise in arms against the establishment. There's a scene of him speaking at the UN headquarters in New York to bolster his claim against imperialist United States - one of those itchy moments that recently came to life in the form of Iran's Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Chavez behind the podium.

40 years after Che Guevarra's ignominious death and thousands of those familiar t-shirts later, he certainly has become an icon of counterculture. He has inspired not just insurgents but artists, authors, poets, philosophers, even heads of state. Soderbergh's movie further solidifies the stature of this Argentinian idealist.

Che runs for a limited engagement at the Ziegfeld Theater until Dec. 12, 2008. Screenings at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

1 comment:

  1. gentle10216:48:00 PM

    I've been dying to read his bio. I'm here in Davao right now and I see his pictures, billboard all over the place. I'm not sure if they know who exactlly Che Guevarra is. I even see his picture in a Bench T shirt. Before I left the States I had a discussion with a South American co worker and was educated about his life.

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