This highly informative documentary makes interesting viewing. I must confess that I didn’t know that much about Che Guevara before I sat down to watch this; I knew that he was an iconic Cuban revolutionary, but as far as background and events went, I didn’t know specific details.
The film directed by Manuel Perez Paredes opens in 1967 as Guevara is captured and executed by the Bolivian army (don’t worry, he wasn’t with Butch and Sundance). It then tracks back to his childhood and through the use of archival photographs, interviews and extracts from his diaries we get to see how he evolved into the famous revolutionary that he became.
This is a very well put together documentary with interesting interviews with Guevara himself and his father; who is annoyed that his son didn’t continue his career as a doctor! The only flaw with the film (besides its incredibly short running time – 54 mins) is that it’s very biased. Obviously made to further his legend the film only shows Guevara in a positive light and it glosses over any failures that he may have had.
The film is a very good primer for the Steven Soderbergh films on Che Guevara starring Benecio Del Torro; The Argentine and Guerrilla. It gives a good background of the legendary man and it makes a good starting point for those who want to find out more about the legend. The film makes reference to Guevara’s infamous motorbike journey around South America that is told in the Walter Salles’ critically acclaimed 2004 film; The Motorcycle Diaries.
This is a highly informative documentary that gives an up close and personal look at Che Guevara. The footage and photographs give an insight that very few documentaries can. This is definitely recommended to fans of film and of history. It’s a pity that it is so short and one sided, however it is a fascinating portrait of the icon that adorns a million posters and T-shirts.
There are some good quality special features on the disc that really heighten the educational worth of the film.
• A Photo Travels Around the World
• Among Legends
• October 1967
These special features run for about an hour and they give good added value to the documentary feature.