7.2/10
41,643
74 user 167 critic

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")
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

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 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)
Edit

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | Spain | USA

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

24 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Argentine See more »

Filming Locations:

Campeche, Mexico See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,070, 14 December 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,731,665, 17 May 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

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 guerrilleros are in the Sierra Maestra, we can hear the coqui (Eleutherodactylus coqui) singing in the night. However, this small frog is endemic to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, thus not possible to be heard in Cuba. See more »

Quotes

Lisa Howard: What is the most important quality for a revolutionary to possess?
Ernesto Che Guevara: El amor.
Cuban Diplomat #1: [translating] Love.
Lisa Howard: Love?
Cuban Diplomat #1: Love of humanity... of justice and truth. A real revolutionary goes where he is needed.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Heroes Unmasked: Isaac (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Oru de Igbodú Para Yemayá: Agayú
Performed by Conjunto de Tambores Batá de Amado Diaz Alfonso
From the recording entitled "Sacred Rhythms of Cuban Santeria, S F40419"
Provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
(c) 1995. Used by Permission
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Rebel, rebel- this film is heavy…
30 January 2009 | by jackharding89-1See all my reviews

He was a revolutionary fighter, a doctor, a social philosopher and a martyr who turned to armed warfare as a 'necessary' means of stamping out the foreign complexities, poverty and injustice that had bled South America for centuries. He was a Marxist, a writer, a guerrilla and a diplomat who rose to prominence as a leader of Fidel Castro's radical '26th of July Movement': a left wing political party that launched an armed invasion of Cuba rapt on toppling U.S backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. This historical revolt: the focal point of director Steven Soderbergh's enduring, coarse and superbly crafted part one of two biopic. A sometimes bitty, sometimes brilliant hand-held epic that succeeds in its failure to fall into the consumer culture camp that's exploited Ernesto 'Che' Guevara's image now for so long.

Steven Soderbergh refrains, then, from counteracting the magnitude of Che: Part One's dense political platform by ramping up the fireworks. This wont appeal to mainstream viewers. This is not a Cuban Braveheart. This is not some twisted Scarface prequel. There will be no post-movie pop-art. Che: Part One is an intelligent and vital take on the man behind the myth not a balls-to-the-wall action spectacle blaring with blood, bullets and CGI. It's a thorough and naturalistic treatise on iconic human drive and endeavour that infrequently shuttles between monochrome and Technicolor, between Che Guevara's 1964 delegation at the UN headquarters and time spent trudging through the Cuban jungle.

If your understanding of certain political ideals and movements are, at best, hazy- then it's best to steer clear of this one. You're likely are likely to find the first serving of Soderbergh's four-and-a-half-hour, two part political epic a little confusing. This ain't no Hollywood funded, slick and stylish, over-dramatic chronicle concerned with entertainment or income. This isn't 'Defiance' or 'Valkrye'. This is a well-researched, claustrophobic and paced political drama (shot in Spanish) where spurts of action, violence and humour are few and far between. Imagine Oliver Stone's 'Salvador' by the way of Terrance Mallick's 'The Thin Red Line': fragmented, anti-mainstream and very heavy-going.

The bravura Benicio Del Toro stars as Che and is quite excellent. He delivers a focused and unwavering performance worthy of a thousand accolades: his finest since '21 Grams'. The fact that Del Toro is fluent in Spanish also helps, as does a rallying and unknown supporting cast that work well as a low-key ensemble. It's all about Del Toro, though. His insurgent, intense and convincing Che is one marred by crippling bouts of asthma yet defined by a burning desire to educate and reform- to put his litigious beliefs into action and unite Latin America.

With Che: Part One, the diligent Steven Soderbergh has found his blend of realism and narrative, documentary and drama. As an avid Che fan and reader of his books and biographies, there is little doubt in my mind that this monumental work will stand as the first piece in the definitive two part screen portrait of one the twentieth century's most iconic, yet largely uncharted, political figures.

Final Verdict: While lesser films wallow in the limelight, Che: Part One stirs understated in the shadows seemingly content with the fact that it wont appeal to all, or many. Steven Soderbergh has crafted a very loyal and well-made biopic. One that demythologises, one that educates, one that excels and ensues Walter Salle's soul-searching Che preface: The Motorcycle Diaries.


29 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 74 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed