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Che: Part Two (2008)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 24 January 2009 (USA)
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In 1967, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara leads a small partisan army to fight an ill-fated revolutionary guerrilla war in Bolivia, South America.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Peter Buchman (screenplay), Benjamin A. van der Veen (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Demián Bichir ... Fidel Castro (as Demian Bichir)
Rodrigo Santoro ... Raúl Castro
Benicio Del Toro ... Ernesto Che Guevara
Catalina Sandino Moreno ... Aleida March
María D. Sosa María D. Sosa ... Aleidita
Raúl Beltrán Raúl Beltrán ... Bolivian Customs Agent #1
Raúl 'Pitín' Gómez Raúl 'Pitín' Gómez ... Bolivian Customs Agent #2
Paty M. Bellott Paty M. Bellott ... Woman at Airport
Othello Rensoli Othello Rensoli ... Pombo (Harry Villegas Tamayo)
Franka Potente ... Tania (Haydee Tamara Bunke Bider)
Norman Santiago ... Tuma (Carlos Coello)
Joaquim de Almeida ... President René Barrientos
Pablo Durán Pablo Durán ... Pacho (Alberto Fernández Montes de Oca)
Ezequiel Díaz Ezequiel Díaz ... Loro (Jorge Vázquez Viaña)
Juan Salinas Juan Salinas ... Polo (Apolinar Aquino Quispe)
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Storyline

In 1965, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara resigns from his Cuban government posts to secretly make his latest attempt to spread the revolution in Bolivia. After arriving in La Paz, Bolivia late in 1966, by 1967, Che with several Cuban volunteers, have raised a small guerrilla army to take on the militarist Bolivian movement. However, Che must face grim realities about his few troops and supplies, his failing health, and a local population who largely does not share the idealistic aspirations of a foreign troublemaker. As the US supported Bolivian army prepares to defeat him, Che and his beleaguered force struggle against the increasingly hopeless odds. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain | France | USA

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

24 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Guerrilla See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Although Benicio Del Toro was always considered the absolute first choice to headline this film, Val Kilmer was considered as a secondary option to play Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara if Del Toro had not been available. See more »

Goofs

When the guerrillas are crossing the Rio Grande, one guerrilla, armed with a bolt-action M43 Spanish Mauser, is shown in a close up raising it over his head. When the camera switches to a close up of the guerrilla in front of him (armed with an M1 Garand), he is seen doing the exact same motion, down to how his equipment jostles, in the background. See more »

Quotes

Ernesto Che Guevara: To survive here, to win... you have to live as if you've already died.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The First Beautiful Thing (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Balderrama
Lyrics by Manuel José Castilla
Music by Gustavo Leguizamon
Performed by Mercedes Sosa
Courtesy of Universal Music
Copyright (c) by Lagos Editorial (Warner/Chappell Music Argentina)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Every bit as compelling and rewarding as its predecessor.
28 March 2009 | by OtobokeSee all my reviews

Following directly from where the story left off in part one, the second half which sets about telling the inevitable downfall and much more grim side of the man's legacy is exactly as such. In direct contrast to the first feature, part two represents a shift from Che the pride and glory of a revolutionised country, to Che—struggling liberator of a country to which he has no previous ties. The change of setting isn't just aesthetic; from the autumn and spring greys of the woodlands comes a change of tone and heart to the feature, replacing the optimism of the predecessor with a cynical, battered and bruised reality aligned to an all new struggle. Yet, as Che would go on to say himself—such a struggle is best told exactly as that—a struggle. While Part One certainly helped document that initial surge to power that the revolutionary guerrilla acquired through just that, Part Two takes a much more refined, callous and bleak segment of Che's life and ambition, and gives it an assertive portrayal that is both poignant and tragic in a tangible, easy to grasp manner.

While the movie's tone in some regards does stray off and differ quite drastically from Part One however, there still remains that same documented approach taken a month ago that avoids melodrama and fabrication as much as possible. This somewhat distant, cold approach to telling Che's story and struggle will no doubt turn some viewers off; indeed, I still remain reserved about whether or not the feature itself should have been named after one man—if anything, the entirety of Che, taken as a whole, delivers a tale that goes beyond mere biography and instead documents a man's struggle alongside those who helped carry him along the way. By no means does Soderbergh try to paint a humanistic portrait here akin to what Hirschbiegel did with Der Untergang half a decade ago (excuse the ironic contrast); Che is a slow moving, reserved and meditative approach to telling a history lesson that just happens to be narrated by the one man who –arguably- conducted the whole thing.

Yet by moving from the lush green landscapes of Cuba and retreating to the bleak, decaying backdrop of Bolivia for Part Two, the story does inevitably take on a distinctly contrasting tone that doesn't feel too disjointed from its predecessor, but does enough to give it its own reference points. Here, the basic structure of Part One is echoed back—there's the initial struggle, the battles, the fallen comrades and the recruiting of those to replace them, all the while we see some glimpses of the man behind the movement. Yet, as anyone with the vaguest idea of the actual history behind the feature will know, Part Two is destined to end on a much more underwhelming, and disquieting note. This difference, in combination with the similarities to Part One, make a compelling and memorable whole; by all means, both could be digested one their own (and kudos to Soderbergh for achieving as such) and enjoyed as they are, but taken as one statement, Che delivers exactly what it sets out to achieve.

Indeed, everything that made Part One the treat that it was one month prior is still evident here from the subtle yet engrossing performances from the central cast to the slow building, realistically structured combat scenes—the drama inherent to the characters on screen is just as vague and indiscernible, but with a feature such as this, Part Two once again proves that avoiding such elements don't necessarily hurt a film when there is enough plot and reflection on other elements to keep the viewer engaged. In fact, upon writing this review I was at odds as to whether or not to simply add a paragraph or two to my initial review for Part One, and title the review as a whole, yet I felt that to do so would only serve to disillusion those who may sit down to watch the entirety of both films consecutively.

With that said, I cannot rightfully decree whether or not Che holds up to the task of engaging an audience for its sprawling four hour plus runtime, but upon viewing both segments I can at least attest to each part's ability to do just that. With a reflective, intricate screenplay combined with endlessly mesmerising photography and nuanced performances that do justice to the movie's characters without drawing attention to themselves, Che Part Two is every bit as compelling and rewarding as its predecessor, but this time with a tragic but uplifting, reaffirming conclusion fit for the history pages of film.

  • A review by Jamie Robert Ward (http://www.invocus.net)


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