In the spirit of this week’s reading, I watched part of Steven Soderbergh’s recent Che biopic over break (I say ‘part’ because the whole thing is about four hours long and, let’s face it, I’ve got papers to write):
Tons of interesting information to be gleaned from the film’s Wikipedia entry re: critical debate around the film’s success or failure to demystify Che, the film’s reception in Cuba and Latin America, and the ongoing struggle against cultural imperialism.
As I said, I haven’t had time to watch the whole thing yet, so I’m not in a position to make my own assessment of its merits, but so far it’s really helped me get a sense of El Che‘s historical and political context, as well as the moral complexity of his actions as a revolutionary leader. It rejects almost all of the glossy conventions of a traditional biopic, which makes it fascinating to watch, albeit at times pretty hard to digest.
Plus, if you buy Casey’s assertion that Che’s image became an icon partly because he was so damn handsome, then boy, let me tell you, it doesn’t get much better than Benicio del Toro. (The supporting cast ain’t bad, either….)