Che: Part One, directed by Steven Soderbergh, is the 2008 film depicting the rise of Che Guevara and his Guerrilla army, lead by Fidel Castro, to overthrow the dictator Fulgencio Batista. The film, starring Benicio Del Toro, pretty accurately shows the events of the revolution. It presents Che as the hero of course, a great leader, obedient to the cause. It is slightly lacking when showing his transformation from Bohemian to Revolutionary, leaving a large gap to be filled from the character shown in “The Motorcycle Diaries”, however, it does not take that much away from its quality. The point of this film was not to show his weaker, wondering side, but the strong warrior he became.
One of the greatest aspects of the film was its’ attention to detail. Eric Zolov’s “Between Bohemianism and a Revolutionary Rebirth”, explains the journey Che’s life took while in Mexico until he began conspiring with Fidel Castro. He talks about the people he met, his mind-set, and his family life. In regards to the latter, the movie did a great job portraying the relationship between Che and his wife, still in Mexico. In the film, she is only mentioned in a passing conversation, along with their son. This seems to be a fairly accurate representation of how much he cared about them. In the article, explained is how he really did not like being married, did not even really get along with his wife, and didn’t even care to be a dad. He only informed his mother he was married in a sort of one-liner in a letter he wrote her. So, the life of a man on the go, a more exciting life, seemed much more appealing to him.
On the other hand, a very big deal is made to show how important the locals were to the success of the guerrillas. The audience is shown many native families helping them, doing whatever they can. In Che’s own “Guerrilla warfare: A method”, there is a huge basis dependent on the people. He states, “The guerrilla is supported by the peasant and worker masses of the region and of the whole territory in which it acts. Without these prerequisites, guerrilla warfare is not possible.” However, it seems a bit odd when reading documents on the death of Che Guevara that, along with leadership failure, “The fact that the guerrillas were so dependent on the local peasant population also proved to be a mistake according to the CIA.” While they are not really talking about the situation in Cuba, it still seems weird that the main believes of Che’s guerrilla warfare would be those named by the CIA as his downfall.
The explanation may be found when further analyzing more of the articles. Also when reading about the death of Che, during a speech given to one of Castro’s largest audiences, he proclaims something that pretty much sums up all of Che’s life and goal, that “Che’s murderers’ will be disappointed when they realize that “the art to which he dedicated his life and intelligence cannot die.” This coincides with the many reports stating that Che’s last words included something to the effect of they were only killing a man, the idea he spent his life to spread would go on without him. He knew his legacy would live on, and his ideas and methods would be studied and put into motion long after he was gone. The CIA blaming his downfall later in Bolivia on some of the fundamentals of his teachings may have been an attempt to kill his ideas along with him.