Director: Steven Soderbergh
Year Released: 2008
Two part depiction of Ernesto "Che" Guevara's military campaigns in Cuba and Bolivia - the first being a 'successful' overthrow of Batista and the second a failed attempt to spread Communism through Latin America (ending with Che getting gunned down by the Bolivian Army ... and the Central Intelligence Agency). As a work of 'drama' it's lacking in tension - the story is so well-known it becomes a movie more about guerrilla strategy and military tactics than a man's independent vision - and doesn't lend to much examination of Guevara's legacy. Soderbergh the technician is more intrigued by shooting outside (most of the movie takes place in the woods/jungles) than getting into particulars about Che's ideology - maybe the Hollywood filmmaker realized the irony of using the kind of financial system his subject abhorred to cover two significant portions of his life and decided to avoid placing himself in the conversation (in other words, Steven S. is not Oliver S.). Benicio Del Toro's 'Guevara' is a serious but sympathetic figure, not necessarily 'cruel' as some have said - though there have been so many contradictory reports out there it's becoming more and more difficult to know who he really 'was,' except of course for the ubiquitous high contrast image of his face: he's a symbol for whatever you want him to be. Meanwhile, "Peter Andrews" checks the aperture on the Arriflex....