fbpx

CHE (PART 2)

Director: STEVEN SODERBERGH

U.S.A.-FRANCE-SPAIN • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DIGITAL • 130 MIN


THE ABSORBING CONCLUSION TO STEVEN SODERBERGH’S ‘BIOPIC’ OF REVOLUTIONARY ICON CHE GUEVARA SHOWS MOST HOLLYWOOD LIFE STORIES TO BE SIMPLISTIC BY COMPARISON. THIS IS A SOBERING ACCOUNT OF THE ’60s POSTER BOY’S LAST DAYS IN BOLIVIA, WHERE HIS ATTEMPT TO FOMENT A REGIME-CHANGING UPRISING ENDS IN THE WORST MANNER POSSIBLE.
For anyone who rushed to judge Soderbergh’s first instalment as a mere paean to its subject, this will set the record straight, since Guevara’s campaign proves a catalogue of calamity — the local peasantry are too scared to fight, the rebels are barely up to the task themselves, and the right-wing Bolivian government has the backing and security expertise of the U.S. to call on. Far from working towards the celebratory outcome seen earlier in Cuba in the first film, the action here is tense and unsettling, gradually tightening the knot as Bolivian troops close in on the insurgents’ mountain base.
This time Benicio Del Toro’s title portrayal brings out the sort of heroism which holds firm even in the face of an evidently losing battle. Soderbergh’s overall picture though, a study in contrasts, clearly casts doubt on the force of personality to shape history — circumstances tell, process matters. It’s a thought-provoking view, though equally significant here is the crucial interference of the U.S., determined not to let another Cuba happen on their watch. Far from some empty history lesson, Soderbergh’s Che is very much a film of the moment, eventually putting the spotlight back on America’s self-proclaimed role as world policeman. Sinewy, invigorating stuff, and in sum quite an achievement. — Trevor Johnston.

This film will be shown in director Steven Soderbergh’s preferred digital format.

IFI SCREENTALK: CHE – THE LEGACY// A panel discussion on the legacy of Che from a cultural, historic and political viewpoint with Jim Fitzpatrick, creator of the iconic Che poster image, Simon McGuinness, Ireland – Cuba Support, Senator Ivana Bacik and Kathy Powell, NUI Galway. IFI Meeting Room, Feb 26th, 7.30 – 8.20 pm (Free)

Book Tickets

}