Sunday, March 08, 2009

The wait is over.....

Che, Part One (Director Steven Soderbergh): 8/10

Almost a year after the film made its premier at Cannes 2008, Che is finally released in my city. Part One made its debut this week while Part Two will be released March 13 onwards. I first heard about the movie when The Motorcycle Diaries was doing the rounds in the film festival circuit back in 2004. Part One of Soderbergh's film picks up Che's journey after his motorcycle tour of South America had first opened his eyes to the idea of seeing a unified Latin America. At the start of Soderbergh's film, Che is shown in Mexico City (1955) for his first meeting with Fidel. Both men exchanged their ideas regarding a proposed Cuban revolution. The plans arising from that meeting led to Fidel, Che and 80 other armed men taking off on a boat towards Cuba. A guerilla warfare resulted in the beautiful island of Cuba before the revolutionaries took control of the island and overthrew the US backed dictatorship. After Cuba was liberated, a soldier asks Che if he could go home because the revolution was over. To which Che replies that only the war over but the revolution was going to begin. In a way, from 1959 onwards not only did the revolution begin but so did the isolation of Cuba from the rest of the world.

Part One shows the early years of Che and how his ideas made him a symbol for global revolutions. The film alternates between the interview and U.N speech that Che gave in USA (1964) while depicting the guerilla warfare tactics that form the basis of most revolutions around the world . Overall, there are plenty of interesting moments in the movie but there is nothing ground breaking about the work. Although I will wait until seeing the second part to form an overall judgement of the work.

Some debating points that arise from the film are obviously regarding the US policy towards Cuba and one can extrapolate these to those of other nations that seek strategies to either isolate or befriend selected nations. Prior to 1945, one knew who the villains were and who the good nations were. But after WWII, things got less clear as the propaganda and spy games increased. As a result, the world became a place where nations despised their neighbors and befriended nations across the world. And if a nation had a leader that was not friendly to a foreign power, then the complicated series of coups and hate campaigns started. And the awful political mess that exists today in the world could directly be attributed to the years from 1950 until the 1970’s when so the all knowing “intelligent” men ran amok and thought they were helping to create a better world. Ha.

No comments: