The Argentine, begins as Che and a band of Cuban exiles (led by Fidel Castro) reach the Cuban shore from Mexico in 1956. Within two years, they mobilized popular support and an army and toppled the U.S.-friendly regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista. Written by
The film is a tribute to the Marxist notion of advancement through two conflicting ideas, known as dialectics, with its division into halves, with two tempos, two color schemes, two aspect ratios and two approaches to chronology. Each half focuses on a different revolution, both fundamentally the same in theory but vastly different in outcome. See more »
There is a running camera shot at the UN of national flags, the current Canadian flag is displayed but it was first introduced in 1965, the movie scene is suppose to take place in 1964. See more »
[upon hearing that Batista has fled Cuba]
Ernesto Che Guevara:
Nobody is going home on leave. We have only won the war. The revolution has just begun.
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Nothing quite like getting your teeth into an epic is there? Sitting back and letting yourself get immersed into a struggle, a journey, in this case the Cuban revolution that has become such a cause celebre for many since the 1950s. By the time I left the cinema I sadly felt as though the epic had been squashed down into an easily swallowed period piece with all the epic grandeur of a Dan Brown novel. The problem with Che Part One is that it doesn't say anything particularly interesting or contain any memorable moments. There is lots and lots of shooting which is actually fairly sanitised (this is certainly no Saving Private Ryan), there is some mistreatment of people who are then avenged and there are lots of shots of Benicio del Toro looking quite idealistic and cool.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing specifically wrong with this film. It portrays a fairly accurate (if, as I said, sanitised) picture of the March on Santa Clara and the victory of Castro's rebels. However much in the same way as the kind of perpetually running museum film that you can dip in and out of it is largely uninspiring and leaves you feeling quite detached. The problem is not the direction or the acting which does manage to transport you into the heart of a Civil War ravaged Cuba. It is the fact that we learn next to nothing about Cuba, Che himself or the goals of the revolutionaries. We learn nothing of why the Batista regime was so bad that people wanted to overthrow it. Which means that this simply stands alone as a war film where there are lots of explosions, lots of running around and some scenes of people celebrating in the streets. While I understand from reports that Che Part Two is rather different I think that nevertheless the slight blandness of Che Part One means that, though it looks good, it does feel like a rather wasted opportunity.
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