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Che: Part One (2008)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 24 January 2009 (USA)
In 1956, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and a band of Castro-led Cuban exiles mobilize an army to topple the regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Peter Buchman (screenplay), Ernesto 'Che' Guevara (memoir "Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War")
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Ormond ... Lisa Howard
Benicio Del Toro ... Ernesto Che Guevara
Oscar Isaac ... Interpreter (as Óscar Isaac)
Pablo Guevara Pablo Guevara ... Dinner Guest #1
Franklin Díaz Franklin Díaz ... Dinner Guest #2
Armando Suárez Cobián Armando Suárez Cobián ... Dinner Guest #3
Rodrigo Santoro ... Raúl Castro
María Isabel Díaz Lago María Isabel Díaz Lago ... María Antonia (as María Isabel Díaz)
Demián Bichir ... Fidel Castro (as Demian Bichir)
Mateo Gómez ... Cuban Diplomat #1
Ramon Fernandez ... Héctor (as Ramón Fernández)
Yul Vazquez ... Alejandro Ramírez (as Yul Vázquez)
Jose Caro Jose Caro ... Esteban (as José Caro)
Pedro Adorno Pedro Adorno ... Epifanío Díaz
Jsu Garcia ... Jorge Sotús (as Jsu García)
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Storyline

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 anonymous

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Benicio Del Toro chose Ryan Gosling to play Benigno 'Beni' Ramírez. Gosling met with the real Ramirez and learned some Spanish to prepare for role. But delays during pre-production caused Gosling to drop out of the project. See more »

Goofs

When Che is outlining his conditions to the UN, one of the cutaways shows some soldiers crossing a muddy river. During the scene, a crew member in contemporary clothing can be seen standing on a grassy bank to the left of the frame. See more »

Quotes

Ernesto Che Guevara: [addressing the United Nations in Spanish] Executions? Yes, we have executed. We execute, and we'll continue to execute.
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Connections

Follows Che Guevara (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Basura
Written and Performed by Mark A. Mangini (as Mark Mangini)
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User Reviews

 
Rage Against the Machine
12 December 2008 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Maybe the most refreshing thing about Che, both parts, is that its director, Steven Soderbergh, didn't know anything about Ernesto "Che" Guevara before taking on the project. This is like a good few in the audience, like yours truly. I didn't know much at all about Che except that he was involved with communist uprisings and revolutions, was buddy-buddy with Castro, and died in execution-style as a guerrilla (that, and his image appears on t-shirts everywhere). What Soderbergh provides for an audience that will go to see it for what he will do with the project- and what Benicio Del-Toro does with the character- is that it's a history lesson made vibrant and urgent and passionate and, according to the director in interviews and Q & A's, honest portrayal of events.

If this means that we may not get exactly a fully rounded portrait of its titular protagonist/hero, then that's probably the only real liability that the picture has. Maybe, perhaps, rightfully so; Che wasn't a guy, at least in his prime revolutionary years, to be one that had much warmth or moments of doubt (and if he had them, they were behind closed doors and out of any record of diaries). So what we get in Part 1, the conventional "Rise" of the character in the story, is the tale of how to do a revolution right- or rather, how to take over a government by military force, and it's Che as a man who pretty quickly becomes a natural leader, a stern taskmaster and also someone who "loves" as a revolutionary must, Che says.

It's gripping film-making nevertheless, with Soderbergh commanding the narrative wonderfully between a color-filmed part-digital-part-35mm Red-camera on the 1957-1959 events in Cuba and the 1964 trip to the UN in New York filmed in grainy black and white. What we get is part documentary and part bio-pic, words straight from the guerrilla's mouth, as it were, and the events that led up to the take-over (which serves as the climax of the picture) in Santa Clara, Cuba. Some of the elements, as noted, are conventional of just a war picture: we get the young kids (16 and 14) who will do anything to fight with Guevara and his group; we get the supposed love interest, only (thankfully) muted with only one scene with small talk; and we get the moments of enthusiasm, humor, camaraderie, and unlikely bravery in the heat of battle.

But most importantly we see Benicio del-Toro take command of this role like he does seemingly often but rarely with such force. In fact, he probably elevates this Che past some possible pit-falls (this project was actually his baby, as he serves as co-producer and developed the project for years), and makes him as human as he can be, using Che's health-tic (asthma) to its fullest, and reveling in going for broke as far as gusto and revelation go. For all of Soderbergh's command of the film-making style- most of all, for me, during the climactic battle where we get to see him awesomely direct a battle sequence- del-Toro, for any scene he's in, steals the show. If for nothing else, whatever your political stance or thoughts on Che, he's worth the admission. 8.5/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France | Spain | Mexico

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

24 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Argentine See more »

Filming Locations:

Campeche, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,070, 14 December 2008

Gross USA:

$748,555

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,209,066
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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