Che, Part 1: The Argentine follows the Cuban Revolution from the beginning of fighting market by Castro and Guevara’s presence in Cuba through the guerrilla warfare that led the revolutionary forces of the July 26th movement to prevail through winning Santa Clara and ultimately taking down Fulgencio Batista. The film focuses on the actions the July 26th movement took, and gives an extra emphasis on the roles Fidel Castro and Che Guevara played in bringing victory to that movement. Through their actions they were able to bring the different revolutionary forces together and unite them under a common cause. The film is important for the way it follows the events, using an overall timeline of the events that occurred during the Cuban Revolution with intersected moments of Fidel Castro’s involvement against American imperialism.
The beginning of the film find the leaders and important figures of the revolution together in Mexico City. This is where Guevara meets Fidel Castro and agrees to join him in the fight. The film does not included the impact that the beginning of this movement starting in Mexico had on many Mexican people. However the reading demonstrates that there was a definite effect on the Mexican people. “For Mexican youth, in contrast, pride in the fact that Mexico had served as a final staging ground for the Cuban Revolutionary movement and was the place where the mythic due of ‘Fidel and Che’ joined forces helped forge a special connection with Guevara as a revolutionary icon, one whose feats seemed equal to heroic- if not more so- and held greater resonance than the feats of Mexico’s earlier, long-buried revolutionary heroes” (Zolov 247). Before the fighting had even begun Che was already becoming the an important icon for people as a revolutionary symbol, and especially for Mexican people during this time. Once the plan was solidified Fidel, Che, and the other revolutionary characters moved to Cuba in the Sierra Maestra Mountains where the engaged the enemy and gained soldiers. The film specifically focuses on this segment of the fighting, and gives detailed accounts of the events that occurred for the guerrilla forces during this time. Finally, they decided to bring their cause down from the mountains and the fighting was brought to Las Villas. They won this battle, and then moved on to the most significant battle included in the film. The Battle of Santa clara shows the fighting that took place as the revolutionaries tried to take the town of Santa Clara. Through street-to-street fighting they were able to secure the town and received information that Batista had fled the country. As Che is walking into the town center, one of the soldiers approaches him and asks if he can go home since they have won, Che responds by saying, “we have won the war, the Revolution starts now”. This statement marks a pivotal moment in the Cuban Revolution, where they have gained the high ground and will now move on the keep that ground secure.
The Cuban Revolution was significant for the way people across the world understood Revolutions in the 20th century. “We consider that the Cuban Revolution made three fundamental contributions to the laws of the revolutionary movement in the current situation in America. First, people’s forces can win a war against an enemy. Second, it is not always necessary to wait for all conditions favorable for a revolution to be present; the insurrection itself can create them. Third, in the underdeveloped parts of America, the battle ground for armed struggle should be in the main be the countryside” (Che Guevara 1).