7.8/10
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299 user 193 critic

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

Diarios de motocicleta (original title)
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The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life's calling.

Director:

Walter Salles

Writers:

Ernesto 'Che' Guevara (book) (as Ernesto Guevara), Alberto Granado (book) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 35 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gael García Bernal ... Ernesto Guevara de la Serna
Rodrigo De la Serna ... Alberto Granado
Mía Maestro ... Chichina Ferreyra
Mercedes Morán ... Celia de la Serna (Argentina)
Jean Pierre Noher ... Ernesto Guevara Lynch (Argentina) (as Jean-Pierre Noher)
Lucas Oro Lucas Oro ... Roberto Guevara (Argentina)
Marina Glezer Marina Glezer ... Celita Guevara (Argentina)
Sofia Bertolotto Sofia Bertolotto ... Ana María Guevara (Argentina) (as Sofía Bertolotto)
Franco Solazzi Franco Solazzi ... Juan Martín Guevara (Argentina)
Ricardo Díaz Mourelle Ricardo Díaz Mourelle ... Uncle Jorge (Argentina) (as Ricardo Diaz Mourelle)
Sergio Boris Sergio Boris ... Young Traveler (Argentina)
Daniel Kargieman Daniel Kargieman ... Young Traveler (Argentina)
Diego Giorzi Diego Giorzi ... Rodolfo (Argentina)
Facundo Espinosa Facundo Espinosa ... Tomás Granado (Argentina)
Matias Gomez Matias Gomez ... Kid (Argentina) (as Matías Gómez)
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Storyline

In 1952, twenty-three year old medical student Ernesto Guevara de la Serna - Fuser to his friends and later better known as 'Ernesto Che Guevara' - one semester away from graduation, decides to postpone his last semester to accompany his twenty-nine year old biochemist friend 'Alberto Granado' - Mial to his friends - on his four month, 8,000 km long dream motorcycle trip throughout South America starting from their home in Buenos Aires. Their quest is to see things they've only read about in books about the continent on which they live, and to finish that quest on Alberto's thirtieth birthday on the other side of the continent in the Guajira Peninsula in Venezuela. Not all on this trip goes according to their rough plan due to a broken down motorbike, a continual lack of money (they often stretching the truth to gain the favor of a variety of strangers to help them), arguments between the two in their frequent isolation solely with each other, their raging libidos which sometimes get ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Let the world change you... and you can change the world See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Argentina | USA | Chile | Peru | Brazil | UK | Germany | France

Language:

Spanish | Quechua | Mapudungun

Release Date:

15 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Motorcycle Diaries See more »

Filming Locations:

Venezuela See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$375,461 (Brazil), 7 May 2004, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$159,819, 26 September 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,756,372, 13 February 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie counts the kilometers traveled from Buenos Aires. In the book, Guevara starts counting from Alberto Granado's home in Córdoba, 600 kilometers from Buenos Aires. See more »

Goofs

The movie is set in the early 1950s. When Ernesto and Alberto arrive in Valparaiso, Chile, a blue floating dry-dock (the "Valparaiso III", owned by SOCIBER) is visible on the bay. It first appeared in 1985. See more »

Quotes

Silvia (Peru): What is wrong with you?
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna: I was born with bad lungs.
Silvia (Peru): What a shame!
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna: No, is not that bad. Thanks to that i skipped the military service, I didn't have to shine anyone boots.
Silvia (Peru): Is that why you became a doctor? Because you are sick?
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna: Is possible.The first word i learned was injection. I want to be useful in some way.
Silvia (Peru): You are wasting your time.
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna: Why?
Silvia (Peru): This life is hell.
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna: Yes, it's really fucked up, but we have to fight for every breath and tell Death to fuck off.
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Crazy Credits

The closing credits are overlaid on original photos from the real journey of Alberto and Ernesto. See more »

Connections

Featured in ¿Qué fue de tu vida?: Rodrigo De la Serna (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

El Chipi Chipi
Written by Gabriel Rodriguez
Fixed by Banda de El Chipi Chipi
Editorial Peer International Corp. (BMI)
o/b/b Ed. De Música México Y Mundial
See more »

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User Reviews

Humanism, Awareness, Coming of Age: The Soul of Revolution
26 November 2004 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES is certainly one of the finest films of the year - a daring, compassionate re-creation of the journey of two young, well-to-do Argentinean lads who leave their privileged positions of biochemist and fourth year Medical student to follow their idea of traveling by motorcycle from their native Buenos Aires down to Patagonia, up through Chile, Peru, Colombia to Venezuela. Sounds like a light hearted Trip Movie, but instead this journey, factually made by one Ernesto (aka 'Che' and 'Fuser') Guevara de la Serna and his close friend Alberto Granado ('Chubby'), is one of the most touching and sensitive passages into self acceptance and awareness of the world as a place where equality of people is a microscopic speck of illusion that is revealed by a carefully constructed script by Jose Rivera based on the diaries of both of these men made during and after their journey. Walter Salles ("Behind the Sun", "Central Station") once again proves himself a director who can infuse his vision of a story with uncomplicated directness of approach, having the sensitivity to allow his well-chosen actors to create wholly believable, three-dimensional characters, whether the actors are the leads or simply minor roles that hold the camera's eye for seconds.

Taken as simply a movie to enjoy, THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES is as beautiful as a National Geographic Magazine feature on the Amazon and the deserted and populated lands of South America. But given his re-creation of Che Guevara's and Alberto Granado's meaningful excursion into manhood this movie goes far beyond entertainment and enters that rarefied arena of psycho biography. Traveling on an old motorcycle, the two lads encounter hunger, accidents, lusting after women at every stop, ingratiating panhandling, and the gradual revelation of the quality of life of the indigenous peoples of South America. They are touched by the plights of the people, the people in turn love the boys, and they eventually spend three weeks living and working in a leprosarium run by the nuns, adding their knowledge of medicine to helping not only the physical needs of the lepers but finding ways to break the psychosocial ostracism that historically curses the 'unclean'. Breaking down these barriers, forming strong relationships with those tending the lepers as well as the lepers themselves, lays the seeds of 'revolution' or Change in the minds of the lads, especially Ernesto or 'Che'. The film does not begin to preach or to make the Che Guevara of Cuban militancy fame a hero: it doesn't have to, as the transformation in the mind of Che is so beautifully subtle. The journey has given him the insight that he must devote himself to changing the inequality and poverty of his America. The events that followed this Motorcycle journey are provided in voice over, black and white footage of people's faces, and a final scene in Havana at the ending of the film. No more need be said.

Gael Garcia Bernal gives an incredibly thoughtful, stunning portrayal of Che, saying so much more with his eyes, his body language (especially as he suffers through his own physical demon of asthma attacks), and his perfect embodiment of the spirit of a man who becomes enlightened by the peasants he comes to love. Bernal is already a brilliant actor and a magnetic screen presence, and if he is not nominated for an Oscar for this unique, artful role it will be a major surprise. His is a career to watch! Likewise Rodrigo de la Serna is completely immersed in his role as Alberto and shows the same quality of quiet growth as a character as the movie progresses. ALL of the many extras in this huge cast are memorable: the leper colony abounds with some of the most touching human beings ever captured on film. The camera work, the musical scoring, the obvious commitment on the part of everyone involved in this glorious picture - every aspect of THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES is exactly right. Ten Stars for this one! In Spanish with English subtitles


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