Che (Steven Soderbergh, 2008): USA

Reviewed by Antara Medina at the Chinese Theater at the AFI Film festival.

Steven Soderberh brought a masterpiece to life with Che. Very different from previous films, this one is shot to be more realistic, and at times actually feels like a documentary. This movie is four and a half hours long, but it doesn’t feel nearly that long. This biography  is enthralling  and intense. It is an experience through some parts of the life of the most famous revolutionary, Ernesto Che Guevara. This film was shot very well and had superb cinematography. The audience sees Che turn more and more into a revolutionary thinker in this film. You see him develop and grow into what he is later known as, the “comandante.” Benicio Del Toro portrays Che amazingly, so amazingly that he won best actor at the Cannes Film Festival for playing this role. Watching this film made me want to go back to Cuba; when i went to Cuba, I talked to many people about Che as a leader and a person. Everyone had mixed feelings towards him, some praised and loved him while others felt completely the opposite. I feel that if this film was brought to Cuba some locals would get really mad and upset, because even though Che was a great leader and helped a lot of people, this movie doesn’t really show the bad side of Che, which he probably had.

It’s beautiful to watch his love for the people, and the love for what he believed in. He is so selfless. You see this throughout both Part One and Part Two of the movie. The second part brought tears to my eyes, to see such a strong man so hooked on trying to re-create what he had done for Cuba elsewhere. It is truly a wonderful film.

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