Che

Che

5.0 5
Director: Steven Soderbergh

Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Demián Bichir, Santiago Cabrera

     
 

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Nearly 40 years after Che Guevara's execution in Bolivia, director Steven Soderbergh retraces the life of the iconic Cuban revolutionary in this nearly four-and-a-half-hour saga. Part 1 begins on November 26, 1956, as Fidel Castro (Demián Bichir) sails into Cuban…  See more details below

Overview

Nearly 40 years after Che Guevara's execution in Bolivia, director Steven Soderbergh retraces the life of the iconic Cuban revolutionary in this nearly four-and-a-half-hour saga. Part 1 begins on November 26, 1956, as Fidel Castro (Demián Bichir) sails into Cuban waters with 80 rebels in tow. Among those rebels is Argentine doctor Ernesto "Che" Guevara (Benicio Del Toro), a man who shares Castro's dream of overthrowing corrupt dictator Fulgencio Batista. As the struggle gets under way, Guevara proves an indispensable part of the revolution due to his firm grasp on the concepts of guerilla warfare. Guevara is heartily embraced by both his comrades and the Cuban people, and quickly rises through the ranks to become first a commander, and ultimately a revolutionary hero. Part 2 of the saga begins with Guevara at the absolute peak of his fame and power. Disappearing suddenly, Guevara subsequently resurfaces in Bolivia to organize a modest group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits in preparation for the Latin American Revolution. But while the Bolivian campaign would ultimately fail, the tenacity, sacrifice, and idealism displayed by Guevara during this period would make him a symbol of heroism to followers around the world. Part 1 and Part 2 were screened together as Che at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, and also received a limited theatrical release under that same title in U.S. theaters later that same year.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
The mythic persona of revolutionary leader Che Guevara, whose legend has only grown in the decades since his death in the Bolivian jungle, makes tackling a biopic about the man all that much more daunting. To some he's a heroic martyr of the political left, to some he's a terrorist, and to some he's little more than a T-shirt logo. Steven Soderbergh sidesteps almost all of these problems in his nearly four-and-a-half-hour movie Che by focusing on what Che experienced, rather than concentrating on the politics. The first half of the film follows Guevara as he helps lead Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution. After an opening scene where Castro recruits the Argentinean doctor, the movie places us in the jungle alongside a small band of guerrillas that steadily grows into the army that conquers Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista's military. Soderbergh shoots their various attacks in a fly-on-the-wall cinéma vérité style that gives the audience a genuine immediacy -- a sense of both place and danger. We get an understanding of how these soldiers do what they do, and, miraculously, Soderbergh never bores us by trying to explain battlefield strategy. He keeps us aware of the forethought and planning that Castro puts into each of their missions, and because we trust Che, we never worry that the characters don't know what they're doing. As the revolutionaries make their way to Havana, Soderbergh intercuts their exploits with flash-forwards to Che's 1964 trip to New York, including his address to the United Nations, and the grainy black-and-white cinematography used in these sequences lends them a documentary feel that contrasts with the lush, colorful jungle settings. While in the Big Apple, Che sits down for an extensive interview with a reporter, and Soderbergh uses Che's answers to her questions as a soundtrack during some of the battle sequences. While this should distance a viewer from the action, it actually has the opposite effect: these are the only times we feel we're inside Che's head, as Soderbergh avoids almost any mention of Che's personal life. This blending of the cerebral technique with visceral content makes the first half of Che a compelling and unique experience. However, with the second half of the movie, Soderbergh shifts gears. After a brief opening sequence with Che entering Bolivia in disguise, the movie never leaves the jungle. There are no voice-overs or flash-forwards to give us any relief from the growing dread that mounts as the Bolivian Revolution fails in every way that the Cuban campaign succeeded. This is cinéma vérité in the extreme -- we are trapped right alongside Che, forever sensing that the end could come at any moment, but never abandoning the fight. It's a thoroughly exhausting feeling to experience for over two hours. Separated from the movie's first half, this is by no means a conventionally entertaining movie, but it's a remarkable piece of filmmaking. If the movie has a major flaw, it might just be that the second half is so insistently unvaried that the audience may start to ask the kinds of questions -- like why would Che leave his wife and kids to go to Bolivia -- that Soderbergh has no interest in answering. However, even with that fault, the first half of the movie succeeds so grandly that Che's eventual demise still hits us with the power of classic tragedy. In fact, Benicio Del Toro deserves just as much credit as Soderbergh for making us feel the enormity of Che's personality. Because his dialogue never reveals his personal feelings, Del Toro must express Che's inner life almost solely through his physicality -- and, remarkably, he does. From Che's long, confident strides as he approaches the podium at the United Nations to his delicate care in lighting a cigar, Del Toro inhabits this often taciturn leader, and keeps us involved by imbuing even the smallest gestures with significance. At nearly four and a half hours, Che plays at a resoundingly uncommercial length, and while it could have been shaped into an easier to digest three hours, it seems clear that Soderbergh has no interest in satisfying the typical audience's expectations in this regard. He wants the audience to feel Che's desperation and pride more than he wants to conform to the traditions of Hollywood filmmaking. And, for those able to meet the movie on its own terms, Che ranks as one of the most ambitious biopics in recent memory.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/19/2010
UPC:
0715515049511
Original Release:
2008
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
4:21:00
Sales rank:
26,898

Special Features

Che: part one- ; New audio commentary featuring Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: a revolutionary life; Theatrical trailer; Che: part two-; New audio commentary featuring Anderson; The supplements-; Making "Che," new documentary featuring Soderbergh, producer Laura Brickford, actor-producer Benicio Del Toro, and writers Peter Buchman and Benjamin Van Der Veen; Interviews with participants in and historians of the cuban revolution and Che's bolivian campaign; End of a revolution, a short documentary made in Bolivia right after Che's execution in 1967; "Che" and the digital cinema revolution!, an original video piece looking at the red camera and its effect on modern film production; Deleted scenes; Booklet featuring an essay by critic Amy Taubin

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Benicio Del Toro Ernesto "Che" Guevara
Demián Bichir Fidel Castro
Santiago Cabrera Camillo Cienfuegos
Jorge Perugorría Joaquin
Edgar Ramirez Ciro Redondo
Victor Rasuk Rogelio Acevedo
Armando Riesco Benigno
Catalina Sandino Moreno Aleida Guevara
Rodrigo Santoro Raul Castro
Unax Ugalde Little Cowboy
Yul Vázquez Alejandro Ramirez
Carlos Bardem Moises Guevara
Joaquim de Almeida Barrientos
Eduard Fernández Ciro Algaranaz
Marc-André Grondin Regis Debray
Óscar Jaenada Dario
Kahlil Mendez Urbano
Matt Damon Guest
Jordi Mollà Capt. Vargas
Ruben Ochandiano Rolando
Julia Ormond Lisa Howard
Gastón Pauls Ciros Bustos
Lou Diamond Phillips Mario Monje
Franka Potente Tania
Mark Umbers Roth
Antonio Peredo Actor
Othello Rensoli Actor
Elvira Mínguez Celia Sanchez
Vladimir Cruz Actor
Cristian Mercado Actor

Technical Credits
Steven Soderbergh Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Jon Lee Anderson Consultant/advisor
Peter Andrews Cinematographer
Belen Atienza Executive Producer
Alvaro Augustin Executive Producer
Pilar Benito Associate Producer
Aitor Berenguer Sound/Sound Designer
Antonio Betancourt Sound/Sound Designer
Laura Bickford Producer
Larry Blake Sound Editor
Frederic W. Brost Executive Producer
Peter Buchman Screenwriter
Brahim Chioua Executive Producer
Bina Daigeler Costumes/Costume Designer
Benicio Del Toro Producer,Screenwriter
Philip Elway Executive Producer
Antxon Gomez Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Gabriel Gutierrez Sound/Sound Designer
Alberto Iglesias Score Composer
Greg Jacobs Executive Producer
Alvaro Longoria Executive Producer
Vincent Maraval Executive Producer
Clara Notari Art Director
Silvana Paternostro Associate Producer
Bill Pohlad Producer
Andreas Schmid Executive Producer
Benjamin A. VanDerVeen Screenwriter
Mary Vernieu Casting
Pablo Zumarraga Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Che
1. Overture: Cuba Map Sequence [3:20]
2. Batista [1:56]
3. Mexico City: July 1955 [4:01]
4. New York: December 1964 [1:18]
5. Cuba: March 1957-Ten Days of Asthma [3:20]
6. Meeting Up With Fidel [1:54]
7. Fidel Reprimands Che [:52]
8. Vaquerito [1:58]
9. El Uvero: May 28, 1957 [3:41]
10. After the Battle [1:23]
11. March of the Wounded [4:49]
12. Face the Nation [2:40]
13. Medical Clinic For Peasants [5:00]
14. Deserters [3:42]
15. Cocktail Party [3:11]
16. Che Made Comandante [4:44]
17. Comandante Guevara and His New Troops [2:22]
18. The Battle of El Hombrito [2:18]
19. Bomb Threat [1:27]
20. Death Penalty [2:43]
21. Che's Un Speech [1:57]
22. The Acevedo Brothers [3:10]
23. "Ventrilocuo" [1:27]
24. Che Weeds Out Troops [3:06]
25. Iviva Cuba Libre! December 1957 [1:47]
26. Responses From Ambassadors at the UN [3:06]
27. January 1, 1958: Loss at El Hombrito [3:26]
28. Off the Battlefield, Training Recruits [2:19]
29. Fidel Becomes Sole Revolutionary Leader: May 3, 1958 [3:46]
30. Che's Rebuttal at the UN [4:16]
31. Uniting Factions In Las Villas: October 15, 1958 [5:24]
32. Aleida Arrives [4:39]
33. Final Stages of the Lightning Campaign [4:01]
34. Santa Clara [2:37]
35. "Torch Those Bastards" [1:53]
36. Taking the Train [3:10]
37. Vaquerito Dies [4:28]
38. Batista's Army Gives Up [3:35]
39. "A Special Mission" [2:22]
40. Surrender at Santa Clara: December 31, 1958 [5:25]
41. Next: Bring the Revolution to All of Latin America [3:45]
42. End Titles [7:41]
1. Color Bars [:00]
1. Introduction [3:20]
2. Batista Background [1:56]
3. Guatemala [4:01]
4. Granma [1:18]
5. Ernesto Guevara [3:20]
6. Becoming Che [1:54]
7. Che Challenged [:52]
8. Street Cred [1:58]
9. El Uvero [3:41]
10. Fidel Begins Uniting Groups [1:23]
11. Many Ches [4:49]
12. Who Was He? [2:40]
13. His Journey [5:00]
14. Apocalyptic Time [3:42]
15. Lisa Howard [3:11]
16. US Dialogue With Che [4:44]
17. Che Made Comandante [2:22]
18. Revolutionary Template [2:18]
19. Che's New York Visit: A Seminal Moment [1:27]
20. Growing Dissatisfaction With the USSR [2:43]
21. The Che of the Time [1:57]
22. Limitations of Soviet Support [3:10]
23. Righteous Indignation [1:27]
24. Marxism and Fidel [3:06]
25. Fidel's Story [1:47]
26. Un Rebuttals [3:06]
27. Cuba's New Place In the World [3:26]
28. Red Threat [2:19]
29. After Moncada: Fidel's Support Grows [3:46]
30. Fidel as Sole Commander [4:16]
31. A Supreme Tactician [5:24]
32. Aleida [4:39]
33. Fidel's Attack on Moncada, Part 1 [4:01]
34. Fidel's Attack on Moncada, Part 2 [2:37]
35. Fidel's Attack on Moncada, Part 3 [1:53]
36. Lightning Campaign [3:10]
37. Vaquerito and Other Heroes [4:28]
38. Number of Troops [3:35]
39. Final Battles [2:22]
40. The Drive to Havana [5:25]
41. Executions [3:45]
42. Criticism [7:41]
1. Color Bars [:00]
Disc #2 -- Che
1. Entr'Acte: Bolivia Map Sequence [3:26]
2. Farewell Letter [2:32]
3. Goodbye [1:59]
4. Arrival In Bolivia: Day 1, November 3, 1966 [4:39]
5. Traveling to the Nacahuasu Camp [2:59]
6. Che Meets His Fellow Combatants: Day 26 [4:04]
7. Building Shelter/Training [2:29]
8. Mario Monje [2:21]
9. Debray Briefs Fidel: December 31, 1967 [1:58]
10. Monje Leaves [2:22]
11. Tuma Threatens Algarañaz [3:28]
12. Che Gives Notice [2:07]
13. Che and Inti Meet Honorato [2:37]
14. Tensions: Day 100 [5:32]
15. Debray, Bustos, and Chino Arrive: Day 113 [1:32]
16. Defection and Capture [2:56]
17. Che Reprimands Tania [:53]
18. Guerrillas' First Ambush: Day 141 [2:45]
19. Alejandro Arrives In La Paz: Day 159 [3:36]
20. Che Confers With Debray [3:27]
21. The Bolivian Army Interrogates Honorato [1:33]
22. Roth, "The Spy," Arrives [3:07]
23. Muyupampa: Day 169 [3:45]
24. Nemesio Carballo Bombed [1:56]
25. Siglo XX Strike: Day 219 [2:15]
26. Tuma: Day 236 [3:04]
27. Retreat: Day 270 [2:07]
28. Asthma Problems: Day 280 [2:14]
29. Che Addresses the Guerrillas [1:52]
30. Rear Guard Under Fire [1:38]
31. Tania and Joaquin at Honorato's House [2:35]
32. Camba and Chapaco Want to Leave [2:33]
33. Ambush at Vado Del Yeso: Day 302 [3:23]
34. Alto Seco: Day 324 [2:57]
35. La Higuera: Day 328 [3:16]
36. Che's Guerrillas Are Ambushed [2:31]
37. Yuro Ravine: Day 340 [5:14]
38. Surrounded [6:53]
39. Captured [1:57]
40. Interrogated [2:16]
41. Talking to a Young Ranger [3:17]
42. Calling In a 600: Day 341, October 9, 1967 [4:21]
43. Assassinated [1:53]
44. "Balderrama"/End Titles [10:34]
1. Color Bars [:00]
1. The Havana Years [3:26]
2. Why Bolivia? [2:32]
3. Congolese Experiment/Farewell Letter [1:59]
4. "The Deal" [4:39]
5. Terrain [2:59]
6. Fractured Political Landscape [4:04]
7. Tania [2:29]
8. Rural and Urban Networks [2:21]
9. No Fidel [1:58]
10. A Clandestine Affair [2:22]
11. Che's Motley Crew [3:28]
12. Antipathies [2:07]
13. Foco Theory, Part 1 [2:37]
14. Foco Theory, Part 2 [5:32]
15. Post-1952 Bolivia, Part 1 [1:32]
16. Post-1952 Bolivia, Part 2 [2:56]
17. Post-1952 Bolivia, Part 3 [:53]
18. Major Plata [2:45]
19. Treatment of Prisoners [3:36]
20. Debray [3:27]
21. President Barrientos, Part 1 [1:33]
22. President Barrientos, Part 2 [3:07]
23. Open Secret [3:45]
24. CIA Involvement [1:56]
25. Miners, Part 1 [2:15]
26. Miners, Part 2 [3:04]
27. Miners, Part 3 [2:07]
28. Miners, Part 4 [2:14]
29. Eleven-Month Journey [1:52]
30. Survival Story, Part 1 [1:38]
31. Survival Story, Part 2 [2:35]
32. Survival Story, Part 3 [2:33]
33. Lost Comrades [3:23]
34. Abandoned to His Fate [2:57]
35. Trapped [3:16]
36. The Inexorability of His End [2:31]
37. Pombo and Urbano, Part 1 [5:14]
38. Pombo and Urbano, Part 2 [6:53]
39. Participants In Che's Capture [1:57]
40. General Prado [2:16]
41. Felix Rodriquez/Final Twenty-Four Hours [3:17]
42. The Killing of Che [4:21]
43. Final Words [1:53]
44. A Myth is Made [10:34]
1. Color Bars [:00]
Disc #3 -- Che
1. Development [7:38]
2. Scripts [19:59]
3. Production [14:01]
4. Cannes/Road Show [4:39]
5. Reflections [3:02]
1. With Sotús's Men [:43]
2. Camilo Tells a War Story [:52]
3. Prisoners Freed By Fidel [1:43]
4. Vilo Reassures a Peasant Woman [2:22]
5. Scouting El Hombrito [:52]
6. "The Radio is For News, Not Music" [1:00]
7. "Frank País is Dead" (August 2, 1957) [2:12]
8. Pep Talk After the Battle of El Hombrito [:41]
9. The Trial of Lalo Sardiñas [4:15]
10. Victor Bordón [:48]
1. The Lantern [:47]
2. Two Sleeping Soldiers [1:26]
3. Benigno Returns From the Caves [1:23]
4. End of Thirst [1:48]

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Che 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The film showcases a successful revolution and a failed one in Bolivia
Cienfuegos More than 1 year ago
If you have not read Jon Lee Anderson's biography of the Argentine doctor you may want to do so before viewing this biopic. One with little knowledge of the path Ernesto Guevara's life took after the "Motorcycle Diaries" may find this film hard to follow. With that said, this is a must see film. Steven Soderbergh and Benecio Del Toro team up to bring Che to life on the big screen. Benecio Del Toro accepted the well deserved Best Actor award for his role as Che at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Finally, the film comes out on DVD and Blu-ray!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago