Why You Should Take an Interest in Steven Soderbergh's Che
by Alex Billington
May 26, 2008
You may have heard the name Che recently or just glanced at some photos of Benicio Del Toro in character. Maybe you've just heard that there's a movie about the Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara. Well, it's time you take a definite different interest in Steven Soderbergh's Che, only because it's being praised by many as a brilliant film. Unfortunately it didn't win the Palme d'Or this year, but Benicio Del Toro did end up taking home the acting prize. The title Che was given to the two-part 268-minute feature, although individually the two films are known as The Argentine and Guerrilla. I've rounded up some of the best reviews on the internet to prove to you why this is no film to simply shrug off.
I was somewhat inspired to get the word out about Che from Jeffrey Wells post on Che losing the Palme d'Or. Not only does he call it "the most exciting and far-reaching film of the Cannes Film Festival," but Wells called the actual news "lamentable [and] dispiriting" given that Che should have undeniably took the top prize. I trust in Wells enough that he knows good films, for the most part, and speaks his mind strongly when it comes to discussions like this. In a quick response after the first half, Wells called the film "brilliant" and "utterly believable," saying it's a "perfect dream movie" that's "politically vibrant and searing." Wells also praises Del Toro, saying his performance was "some kind of knock-down, ass-kick reviving of the dead."
Our own Marco Cerritos gave Che a B+ rating, calling the film "beautiful and simplistic, a sampling of one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century." As for Del Toro, he says that "Che continues to be as divisive in death as he was in life but as depicted in the film, Benicio Del Toro creates a conflicted man who sought to change the world in his own way."
Two of Cinematical's writers that were in attendance at Cannes both praised the film quite a bit. First up is Kim Voynar, who said the "the film is just amazing, in every possible way." She goes on to say that "Che is everything a biopic should be, and del Toro's performance is nothing short of astounding." And if that's not enough, she just keeps pouring praise on it, including this great paragraph.
"Soderbergh's direction is smart and assured; the film is incredibly shot and edited, the use of music is subtle, restrained and always appropriate and evocative, and the script handles the subject matter deftly, showing us more about the man behind the revolutionary history without beating us about the head and shoulders with it."
But that's not all. Cinematical's James Rocchi gives the film a glowing review as well. Rocchi gives a great explanation to the feel of both parts: "The first half of Che feels like nothing less than Lawrence of Arabia, as a charismatic outsider helps fight, and win, a seemingly impossible series of battles; the second part is a little more sad and thoughtful, as we witness Che's tragic flaw where, after creating a revolution in Cuba, he simply could not stop, and tried to re-create something irreproducible." He also praises it as much as the others before, saying that the result of Steven Soderbergh's work as director, editor, and cinematographer is "expressive, innovative, striking, exciting." And he just keeps going.
"Che is a piece of entertainment that delivers excitement, pathos and pure film making passion; it's a work of art worth thinking about and arguing about, one that opens up possibilities and encourages you to think and feel without telling you how you should think and feel. Bold, beautiful, bleak and brilliant, Che's not just the story of a revolutionary; in many ways, it's a revolution in and of itself."
If you've come across a few scathing reviews (like this one on Variety) that are claiming the film has no depth, is one big mess, and/or is far too long, don't get too worried. Soderbergh is heading back into the editing room after Cannes to work on tweaking the film before it makes its debut here in North America, which is anyone's guess at the moment. In fact, the print they showed at Cannes didn't have any credits of any sort and also included an intermission. Soderbergh recalls, "The process of editing was intense. The further you get into it, you need context. That's why you need two movies."
If everything we've provided above isn't enough to get you interested, then I'm not sure what else there is out there that would convince anyone to take an interest. This is one of those rare times where I don't need any footage or trailers to genuinely be excited. Soon enough we'll have a real trailer, but for now, I just want to see this as soon as possible. I'm confident enough in Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Solaris, The Good German, Ocean's Trilogy) that I truly expect this to be as brilliant as everyone is making it out to be. After all of the praise that it has received, I don't think anyone can shrug Che off without feeling completely awkward about such a decision. We'll be sure to follow this one as it makes its way to North America.
Reader Feedback - 39 Comments
Cant wait for this! I'm also excited to see these because of the cam's (RED) that Soderberg used! I think these movies will be great.
Herbert on May 26, 2008
Did anyone buy it? Last I heard it had no takers.
Zach D. on May 26, 2008
A movie based on a shirt? NO THANKS.
DCompose on May 26, 2008
If it glorifies him I have no desire to see it.
ScreenRant.com on May 26, 2008
DCompose.......ahahaha Amazing. or how's bout: A movie based on the dude from Rage? NO THANKS.
Nthngmn on May 26, 2008
3 reasons to watch this : steven soderbergh, che, and benicio del toro, nuff said.
Andrew on May 26, 2008
Medellin incarnate? I can't wait to see it.
Keith on May 26, 2008
To scoff at this because all you know of the man is a picture on a t-shirt shows just how ignorant a person can be. And be brave enough to dismiss it publicly. I strongly urge you to put down the XBOX and read a book, brother. Ernesto "Che" Guevara's life --in all it's bloody, messy and inglorious glory-- is tied to many of South America's history. He was many times cruel, over-zealous and fanatical, but at one time he was nothing but a boy with an ideal. He is also still a hero to many in my continent, especially my country, where the local government has nearly blown him into God-like proportions. I disagree with almost everything he did, as much as I disagree with Hitler, too --and yet I find both their lives fascinating. I anxiously await Soderbergh's CHE to arrive to movie theaters, praying that the Venezuelan government doesn't make TOO big a deal out of it, just because I'm sure it will be a grand movie, all 4 hours of it.
Juan Carlo on May 26, 2008
Why shun a movie just because it glorifies a 'bad' man..or because you think it may glorify a 'bad' man? That is stupid. Lets just ignore boogeymen and hope they disappear. It is time people actually looked long and hard at this this mans life.
Kyle A. K. on May 26, 2008
'Der Untergang' didn't glorified Hilter... and it didn't bashed him down. I was subjective picture of his last hours. I think it's the same with this movie. You'll see how the man lived... it's up to you what you think about it.
Rickmeister on May 27, 2008
This movie will be great ... and for the matter he was bad guy in real life or stuff like that ...first of all he was a revolutionary ....secondly what about : Blow (2001) with Johnny Depp : George Jung, the man who established the American cocaine market in the 1970's The Last King of Scotland (2006) with Forest Whitaker : brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's American Gangster (2007) with Denzel Washington : the drug empire of Frank Lucas and many other movies ... and I am sure that they will make in the future a movie for Saddam Husain who killed millions for their nationality and religion ...and they will make him a great Hero too 😉 Now you want to put Che Guevara in their places ...??? That is a big shame .... Che Guevara was a man who care and make revolution for the good ... and just see the way they killed him !!! with the help of CIA ...read a bit about him in wikipedia and then come and talk again .... For your information I am not a fan of him ...I just don't like how Hollywood turn the stuff up side down some times ... and of course Audience who don't know hell about someone and come to show his hate against everything that is not American "U.S.A" ... Like there is just two parts : U.S.A and The rest of the world ... !!!! and I am sure this movie will put benicio del toro again into the Oscars ... if Hollywood will be with open mind for the role and the art and do not think at the movie as an enemy of U.S.A .
shero on May 27, 2008
wow...DCompose & Nthngmn you guys are dumb shits, T shirts and RATM? Really? is that all you know about Che and Castro??? So YOU guys are the ones responsible for all of the shitty movies making money huh. Read more books...
Herbert on May 27, 2008
I have very high hopes in this film, First, I just whached the clips from the cannes festival and the ones in this website (thanks FS.com)and Del toro is amazing, two resons he nails an argentian accent to the ground and emmulates Ches mannerisms and body language to almost perfection. Benicio won an oscar for Traffic where he plays a clever "federal", has a mexican accent and deals with corruption to the highest levels of the system, to me the most interesting character in the movie. I had the chance to see some documentaries about Ernesto "Che" Guevara, and comparing the real life person and the film character you can tell how F***ing good Benicio is in the movie, the way he moves his hands, the tone of his voice, the passion when he was given an speech. Second Steven Soderbergh, I just loved his first movies, what im most excited about is those action sequences we read in books and magazines but we never got to see, guerrilla tactics and when he got killed by CIA agents in Bolivia. Third Franka Potente, i love her in Bourne movies and lola run run, i cant wait to see her again. In one interview Steven said that Che was just perfect movie material that at the end it comes down to that, a good and enjoyable movie. "Hasta la victoria siempre"
oteromurga on May 27, 2008
I think they could not have cast anyone else for the part of che! Benicio suits the role so well and i think that him getting an award for it shows that! really cant wait till this film comes out!
Adam Araujo on May 27, 2008
I might watch it out of curiosity.
Sean Kelly on May 27, 2008
Herbert.......it's called comedy. Just trying to add a bit of levity to an otherwise bland conversation. Lighten up, you pretentious prick. Not everyone needs to flash their intellect on an inconsequential comment board. Yes, that's really ALL we know about Che and Castro. Wow.....aren't we dumb? (And that's what we call 'oozing sarcasm') Also, I'm not about to engage in a conversation to simply display how much I actually know about Che. Grow up and keep your petty comments to yourself. Read a book? Have a drink. And shero, I completely agree. While an ethical argument as to Guevara's actions can be had (an endless argument at that), presenting a "villain" on screen doesn't necessarily mean an attempt at glorification. Subjectivity is always a key factor in attempting these types of films.. Hopefully Soderbergh reveals both sides of the coin.
Nthngmn on May 27, 2008
I can't believe some of the comments in this thread. US people are known worldwide as idiots, ignorants. You love to talk about subjects you don't know anything about, 20% of you can't place a pin on the USA in a world map. You shouldn't be so ignorant and stupid, it's really sad and pitiful, I mean it. Ernesto Guevara was an instructed and intelligent man who chose to fight for other people's rights instead of his. That's more of which can be said about the average US citizen. Was he right? Wrong? That's for each one of us to judge. His attitude however is unquestionable. Read a book, open your eyes, think, use your brains, I promise it won't hurt too much.
GA on May 27, 2008
Wow, GA's comment is unbelievable. Talk about ignorance. Oh my, how ironic? I can't believe I'm even posting in response, really, the whole thing is just ridiculous..
Traveler on May 27, 2008
I really am dieing to see this however it is sad that it will probably not get a very big theatrical release due to its unfriendly box office subject. No one wants a 250minute film or to release two seprate ones either.
Ryan on May 27, 2008
From Usual Suspects to Dr. GONZO to Sin City to CHE??? HELL'S YEAH I'm Gonna See This!!! (I'd read motorcycle diaries before hitting my mother's home island in the Southern Phillippines. Rented a motorcycle & cruised around w/ my cousin, taking it all in. THAT's freedom - a fast disappearing luxury, in the land of the ????) I'll easily be looking forward to this singular performance as much as I was for D. D. Lewis in "There Will Be Blood".
Djo. on May 27, 2008
Looks like a struck a chord with Juan Carlo. Put down the book and live in the real world, brother.
DCompose on May 27, 2008
By the way, I read a book and it turns out Che Guevara is a nerd.
DCompose on May 27, 2008
Hey guys, I saw the movie ast Cannes last week and before I went in I had the same idea as Andrew in reaction number 6: "3 reasons to watch this : steven soderbergh, che, and benicio del toro, nuff said." This movie for me was a big let down. It bascially drags on for 4,5 hours with no storylione or build-up. It's definitely unconventional, I give it that, and the cinematography due to the RED is amazing in the 2nd part. But it just bore the living crap out of me. The only entertaiment I had was laughing at the snoaring (!) German journalist next to me. The only thing I can compare this movie with is The Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick: lots of great ideas that don't come together, actors that give their best but get lost in the pretentiousness, the bad directing and the lack of screenplay. I love Benico Del Toro as an actor but if you want to see him at his best check out Traffic - or actually his 4,5 hours in Che are nothin to his 30 seconds in the line up scene of Usual Suspects. I love most of Steven Soderbergh's movies, but this one (if you look at it as Che) or these ones (if you regard them as two separate movies The Argentine and Guerilla) rank even way below Ocean's Twelve. I really wanted to love this and see this work, I saw it with an open mind, but it was an experience that can best be described as seeing your favourite sports team lose big time - to me it was seeing some of my favourite people in movies today deliver an absolute turd - or two.
Jules on May 28, 2008
@shero: "Che Guevara was a man who care and make revolution for the good" so, it's fine that this sucker got thousands of people killed? from both sides? then Castro assumed and there you are, but wait, this is good, according to you. I've always liked Benicio del Toro, and it fits the role greatly, I'm just not into the idea of making a terrorist, without any plans for construction, only destruction, a hero. And yes, Guevara was a terrorist, and he died as such, thankfully.
David on May 28, 2008
David ... Why you are talking just about Che Guevara ??? why you do not talk about the presidents of U.S.A ...and how many they killed in wars .... how they made Usama and Saddam and use them as tools for killing millions " not thousands" ...again Millions .... and I know such a discussion will take a long time ...but when you make Che Guevara a terrorist who killed thousands ...do not forget about the other terrorists who killed millions ....!!! By the way you call him terrorist but it is your opinion ...for me he was a revolutionary man ...and he did it for good ...that is why you see that there are still millions who respect him and his respect his thoughts ... However do not mix stuff and do not change the subject and forget to mention the biggest terrorists who make everyone look like terrorist ... now every Iraqi is terrorism ... every pakistani and afganistany are terrorist ....everyone who is not U.S.A is a terrorist .... and that is not good ....just mention the other side of the story too ..... just to give a balance for the subject ... not to show more and more " who is not U.S.A is a terrorist .... that is nor right .... " For your information I hate people killing each other ...and I run from Iraq just because of that ... I am even no Arabic ...I am Kurdish ... and I am not Muslim ... I do not believe in Religions ... but with that I can't be silent when some people come and put every Iraqi inside a bag called Terrorist .... some times we must just say the truth about our self first before we point our fingers to others "
shero on May 28, 2008
Gentlemen; I am half Cuban but I am also a Marine. Che was as big a terrorist as Osama Bin Laden is Today. My Father Fled Cuba even though he detested The Batista Government. However; his hopes were shattered when Castro and Che turned out to be as bad as Batista. Che was a fanatic and as all fanatics; they kill or imprison their own people because what they want is to replace the man with the power. They don't want a Democracy. They want a dictatorship. Instead of a corrupt Batista dictatorship that catered to the powerful Mafia and Corporations; they became corrupt dictators that catered to their own wants and to the wants of The Communist Russians. I don't have to read a book. My family experienced the real Che and Castro. Please chill out and drink a Mohito or a Cuba Libre. Movies are made to entertain. I will see the movie because of Benicio Del Toro and not because of Che.
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on May 28, 2008
Hi All, I think the best reason to see the movie is education. Getting a different pint of view if you already know about Che's life, or learning about recent Latin American history if you've only seen Che on a t-shirt, and you were not alive to read the Times magazine that featured him on the cover. But here is my political statement. There are a few things that are undeniable about Che: he was higly educated idealistic figure. he fought for what he thought was right, used methods that are questionable to pursue his goals, and died betrayed in the hands of the CIA when he was of mo more use to Castro's government.
Tom on May 28, 2008
Gentlemen; There is no need for such hostility. shero, Sir; I like the people from Afghanistan and Irag. This includes The Kurds, The Shiites and The Sunnis. They are not terrorists. However; Al Qaeda led by Osama Bin Laden, The Taliban and The Foreign Fighters that assist them are terrorists. These Terrorists kill more of their own people then they kill Americans. While there have been disciplinary lapses and violations of our rules of engagement by a few Marines that have resulted in civilian casualties; they were not purposely done to terrorize the civilian population. We take every precaution even at the risk of our own lives to avoid civilian casualties. I was wounded while evacuating civilians from a war zone by a member of the civilian group who was actually a terrorist. Asymmetrical or guerrilla warfare is not the same as fighting a war against uniformed conventional forces. The Terrorists purposely dress and mingle with the civilian population in order to kill my men. In the process; they end up killing more of the civilians then they do of us. More civilians are killed by improvised explosive devices, human suicide bombers, car bombs.insurgent small and heavy weapons then by any of our forces. These men are terrorist and cowards. They will not fight us as Warriors. They hide behind their own people using them as shields. Most of our casualties have not come from personal confrontations with the insurgents. They know that our men are better trained, equipped, disciplined and braver and have won every direct confrontation with the few brave insurgents who have stood their ground and fought without the use of human shields. My men respect these fighters and consider them Warriors. However; they are in the minority. This is the case in all Guerrilla wars whether they be in Latin America or The Middle East. The insurgents assassinate, kidnap, torture and commit mass murder among their own people. They do this in order to terrorize the civilian populations until they choose to live under a dictatorship rather then die under a democracy. Now can we get back to the movie and stop talking politics?
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on May 28, 2008
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr : thanks for the nice words and the way of responding ... I said what I wanted and that is it ...as you said let's we speak about the movie not about the historical events and character ... and I am agree with Tom about a reason for watching the movie is Educational ...and I am really waiting for for it 🙂 Thanks again
shero on May 29, 2008
Dear Ivan A. Arcaya! You are a half-Cuban, so you were born in America and have never seen Cuba. I was born in USSR and now I live in "democratic" Russia. I have seen both socialism and capitalism and I swear that I would give everything I have to find myself in USSR. So I pray everyday that uncle Sam never put his feet on Cuba. More than half of Russian population now live in misery and can't give their children good medical services nor good (or even any) high education. You say that many Cubans leave their Fatherland for America... Do you know how many ex-Soviets have left and continue to leave their countries to go and earn some money just to survive? Do you know that Russia have lost more than 50 million men during the "perestroika" without any visible war? Do you know that now life interval in Russia is about 58 years (for men) against 72 in Cuba? So WHO is greater terrorist - Che or Gorby?
svet on Jun 7, 2008
Dear svet: Russia is not a Democracy. It has never been a Democracy whether their ruler was Stalin, Gorby, Putin or his Puppet. China is not a Democracy now or ever. Communist Russians continue to Terrorize both the average Russian citizens and the other Countries that used to be part of The Soviet Union. Communist Chinese continue to terrorize their average citizens and the citizens of any country that they consider as part of their sphere of influence. This includes Tibet as well as Taiwan. They have embraced capitalism but not democracy. Che did not want a Democracy for Latin America. He wanted an authoritarian , totalitarian, Communist Regime similar to Stalin's Regime. He saw himself as a Latin American Stalin. Anyone that wanted Democracy and not Stalinist Communism was tortured and executed. This information is based on the members of his fellow revolutionaries who were imprisoned because they wanted Democracy and not Stalinist Communism. In fact many of his fellow revolutionaries were shot by him and his pistol or his firing squad. Those revolutionaries that were either released or escaped from Cuba testified to both the Cuban Communities in The U.S.A. and The U.S.A. Government. Many of the leaders of the Cubans in the US Mainland and Puerto Rico who want to over throw Castro and who rejoiced at the news of Che's death are either members of Che's fellow revolutionaries or their decedents. As for the Cubans who have longer life spans then Russians is because the Cubans who go along with Castro are kept alive in poor squalor. Hundreds of Thousands of Cubans have migrated to The US Mainland , Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic because they have to live in silent squalor or die if they complain about the lack of Democracy and normal amenities. My father joined The Rangers and fought against The Communist Russian and Chinese advisers who Fought with Communist Ho Chi Ming and The Communist North Vietnamese Army Regulars led by Ho Chi Ming. They used The South Vietnamese Viet Cong as Cannon Folder. In fact they sent The VC to carry out the suicide missions. So many Viet Cong were killed during The TET Offensive that they ceased to be an effective fighting force. When we withdrew in 1975 and The NVA and what was left of The VC took over They did not establish a Democracy. Instead; the average South Vietnameses were subjected to a Stalinist type Communist purge. All South Vietnamese who wanted a Democracy were tortured, Killed and indoctrinated to the Communist , totalitarian, Authoritarian Ho Chi Ming style of governance.Their life Span was measured in days not years. It is your leaders who have caused your problems. Just as it was Che and Castro that caused The Cuban People their problems. Capitalism without Democracy doesn't work. The reason oppressed people Flee To The U.S.A. is because we are a Capitalistic Democracy. Many of Your people have opened legitimate businesses and have been good citizens. We even have second generation Russians in our Armed Forces. They love America and are now fighting another form of Terrorism. Instead of Communists ; They are fighting Radical Islamics. The short answer to your question is your leaders and Che are equal terrorists. Ivan,Sr. P.S. Please let's talk about Movies and not Politics. Thank-you Sir.
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on Jun 7, 2008
Thank you for your response though I don't think that USA aggression in Viet-Nam was better than USSR's aggression in Afghanistan (look at the well-known photo called "Napalm girl"). I'm sure there's nothing to be pride of. So Pinochet, Samosa and Bocassa (supported by USA's democratic government) weren't terrorists who tortured their opposition? Putin is not a terrorist, George W. Bush said that Putin is his good friend. So, they are the same. I'm eager to see the film about Che. I love Che and his ideas (I have read some of his books and many of his biographies) that's why I'll never assist in wars like Viet-Nam nor Iraq and shall never establish democracy by Armed Forces but I'd be glad to give my life to make my people live better. Like Che.
svet on Jun 8, 2008
svet Sir: I agree with you about President Bush condoning torture. Waterboarding and all the other atrocities that have happened in Abu Graib and GITMO and are still happening are violations of the Geneva Convention. I know what's happening in GITMO because the marines in GITMO talk to other Marines and eventually Marines in the front lines find out. First; let me tell you that the marines at GITMO do not participate in the torture and many have been disciplined for trying to stop the torture. The torture is mostly being done By Private Contractors sanctioned by clandestine organizations within our government. Personally; I believe that the Company sanctioned The Private Contractors. I also know that The Company has been involved in many of the assassinations and The Bloody Regime changes in Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia and The Middle East. Finally; The Marines know that we should be fighting The Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Osama Bin Laden is in the Mountainous frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Army Special Forces, Navy Seals and Marine Recon Units are convinced that he is there. Many of them have died to bring back Intel that confirms that he is indeed in those mountains. We also know that The Iraq War should never have been fought. The whole war is a fabrication. However; We swore to protect and obey The Constitution of the U.S.A. This includes obeying the President whether we agreed with his policies or not. However; I know that the more educated and informed Marines are not voting for Senator McCain. We will be voting for Senator Obama. In the mean time ; we keep doing what we really care about. Saving as many Marines as possible in both Irag and Afghanistan. Ask any one of the Soviet Soldiers that fought in Afghanistan and they will tell you the same thing. Most of them disagreed with their orders and only cared about saving as many of their men as possible. The Grunts don't start Wars ; We just fight and die. I will see the movie but I will not look at it as a political movie. Movies are entertainment and are not History. Ivan.
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on Jun 8, 2008
Many thanks, Ivan. My bad English doesn't permit me to explain my feelings, but I hope one day there will be no frontiers and no reason to kill or die for and I also hope that my children will see this day... My only last question: what is this "clandestine organization" within american government?
svet on Jun 8, 2008
svet Sir: I echo your thoughts. Contrary to TV Shows about the Marine Corp ; the average Marine is not hoping for another war. The only Marines that voice that propaganda in order to brain wash the new recruits are the Drill Instructors. Once a Marine experiences combat and holds a dying buddy in his arms or has to pick up the pieces of whats left of his fellow brother Marine after he is hit by artillery, RPG, or an IED ; brain washing and politics is forgotten and the instinct to survive and assure the survival of his fellow brothers is all that matters. My half brother served in the Army and was attached to the DID(Defense Intelligence Department). After he was able to retire ; he did so immediately. His stories would make the Average American who is not A Right Wing Neoconservative puke. There is a Black OPS group who are made of assassins, torturers, and trainers who train Foreign Black OPS groups To assassinate, torture and terrorize anyone who disagrees with The American Government's supported Government Leaders. They are dictators but they are our dictators. This is a statement that most Americans take as a joke. It's no joke. They are not Marines. Most are ex special forces private military contractor paid by our tax dollars. All The American Military and Intelligence groups hate them. However; we don't have any power over them. This is The Clandestine Organization within The American Government. As far as I am concern; I will always be a Marine no matter what happens to be in the future. Goodbye Comrade.
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on Jun 9, 2008
I was at the Cannes Film Festival and saw-- a four hour, backside numbing epic. Everything from Che's s first meeting with Fidel Castro in 1957 to his eventual and inevitable auto da fe in a Bolivian jungle ten years later. Soderbergh’s Guevara is a bit less than well realized, and the film is unfathomably long. Even The Ten Commandments got it done in at less than three hours. A thousand miles from the red carpet, a guy named Chuck Pfarrer has quietly stolen Mr. Soderbergh’s thunder. His novel, released last year was called Killing Che, and it is an epic in its own right— part thriller and maybe even the work of a master. Soderbergh’s Che covers a ten year span, and the first half of the movie barely holds water. Pfarrer’s Killing Che is laser focused on the last six months of the Che's life, faithfully following Guevara and a fictional CIA agent, Paul Hoyle, as he ruthlessly, and apparently reluctantly closes the noose on Che and band of combatants. Pfarrer, a former Navy Seal, delivers a surprisingly even-handed portrayal of Guevara. The author does not stint in revealing Che’s faults, neither does he fail to describe the ruthless, corrupt Bolivian military machine that murdered Che after his capture in October, 1967. Killing Che weaves an intricate and eminently plausible story of a Cuban indifference, CIA expedience and Russian treachery. It seems the whole world was aligned against Guevara, one of the last believers in a lost cause. Pfarrer is at his best describing the conflicted CIA paramilitary Paul Hoyle. The world created in Killing Che has rightly been compared to Graham Greene it is rich in moral compromise, doomed love affairs, and the oppressive, claustrophobic heat of the jungle . Pfarrer’s earlier experience as a military advisor in Central America is on display in his vivid descriptions of jungle war, and sleazy dealings with spies, traitors and perversely evil secret policemen. Why wasn’t this book a best seller? Good question. Random House obviously did little to promote it, and their spring 2007 catalogue didn’t list a single speaking engagement or book tour. Previous reviews, including the LA Times and the prestigious Bloomsbury Review have been enthusiastic. I agree. I will go farther and say Killing Che was one of the best books I’ve read this year. Maybe it’s one of the best books I ever read. With any luck, some of Mr. Soderbergh’s glory will ricochet onto this book. Stranger things have happened in the jungle.
Walter Paul on Jul 2, 2008
Sometimes the means don't justify the ends. "To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary...These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the The Wall! (El Paredón)" --Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
cubanazo on Sep 14, 2008
I saw "Che" part 1 and 2 last night. Benicio Del Toro gives one of the greatest performances I have ever seen on film. It is a poignant, moving, powerful and informative film. Benicio Del Toro is a great actor who seems to channel the great revolutionary Che Guevara. It is a performance I will never forget. Deborah Taylor
deborah taylor on Nov 28, 2008
hey, guys its just a movie dont make it a big issue!!!! if u wanna 2 know CHE there r several books & sites abt him read them or not im waiting 2 c dis movie... hope dat my country dont ban dis movie
ku2 on Feb 17, 2009
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