Sunday, January 25, 2009


Last night I went to see Che: Part One. One review I read described the film as obdurate. I think that is the best description I can give of a quite excellent movie. It was in Spanish with Japanese subtitles so there were some details I missed out on. In Japan, where Che is a T-shirt superstar, I was worried that the movie would sway towards stylistic hagiography. It wasn't that. It also wasn't a harsh psychic autopsy, which would have been an easy way to be hailed as serious. It was a depiction of deeds and personality. Even if you accept that Che stumbled towards tyranny and on his best days could never rise above being a murderer, it would be unreasonable to insist that the life he lived was something short of incredible. That is all the movie shows. As Soderbergh posed to a detractor this week, "Do you believe that the Che depicted in this movie wasn't capable of what he became?" I think that the Che presented to us is an autocrat who believes that his moral compass alone points to absolute north. If he wasn't that kind of person, he couldn't have done the things he did good and ill. Barring all of these things, the film is beautiful. I would have been happy just to look at it and listen to the music. Very well made. Very worthwhile.


The Morholt said...

I don't like Che and particularly dont like Che merchandising, as funny as the irony is, but am looking forward to this movie a lot. We still don't have it here in San Miguel, but the boys are eager to see it with me. Hope it comes soon because "Seven Pounds" and Disaster Movie" were the new offerings this week and I barely avoided a self inflicted wound with a sharp object when i saw the marquee.

wwc said...

Your criticism of Che was very much on my mind watching this. I don't know how you will feel about it, but I think that, at its heart, it is a very well made, very human film. I don't feel that it glorifies Che at all. I don't think it glorifies anything.

attempting to silence the voices in my head.