The film documents Che’s theories on Guerrilla warfare in great depth, depicting the living conditions and major conflicts that occurred during the revolution in Cuba. The idea of Guerrilla warfare, as Che explains in his “Guerilla Warfare: A method” is a means to an end, with the tactic giving the people, whether the proper conditions for revolution are present or not, the ability to overcome a superior military force (“Lately it has been employed in various people’s wars of liberation when the vanguard of a people have chosen the road of irregular armed struggle against enemies of superior military power”). The film also presents Che’s development of Guerilla warfare, or liberation warfare in sequence with the steps he suggested in his Guerilla Warfare Method:
“Guerrilla war or liberation war will generally have three stages. First is the strategic defensive stage when the small force nibbles at the enemy and runs. It is not sheltered to make a passive defense within a small circumference, but rather its defense consists of the limited attacks it can successfully strike. After this comes a state of equilibrium in which the possibilities of action on both sides — the enemy and the guerrillas — are established. Finally, the last stage consists of overrunning the repressive army leading to the capture of the big cities, large-scale decisive encounters, and ultimately the complete annihilation of the enemy.”
The film uses this as an outline for the main plot development, showing the beginnings of their revolution, the turning point and then through the “large scale” battles that occurred closer to the films finale, as the revolution in Cuba came to a close. Though this is the natural progression of this style of warfare, it is important to note that the film, disjointed in chronology between scenes (between Cuba before and America After), is perhaps to better explain Guerrilla warfare through the eyes of Che and the Cuban resistance by depicting this progression as Che describes it in his work.
Che presents a fairly strong point against the United States and its government and claims of imperialism, in the film and in his own writings. He touches on USA imperialism in both “Gurellia Warfare” and the “Message to the Tricontinental. His constant criticism of what he deems Imperialism, or to a lesser extent capitalism in general, is used to strengthen his position as a Revolutionary, and present his struggles to the rest of the world as being a positive force, in the face of a greedy and power hungry superpower based on capitalism (USA). By using Vietnam as an example in his Message to the Tricontinental, he presents the long arm of the United States as a self interested entity, working towards acquisition of wealth while maintaining what it has already “conquered”; arguing that the U.S.’s involvement in Vietnam was not to prevent the spread of communism, but rather to extend its imperialistic nature, similar to the events surrounding Cuba and the revolution. Whether this be true or not, Che provides insight into superpower politics from the prospective of a man fighting for people’s freedom from tyranny, whether he aligns himself with the very thing that he’s fighting against (communism/Russia could be construed as a similar imperial entity), or not.