The film The Motorcycle Diaries is the tale ofErnesto Guevara de la Serna based on his actual diaries. The viewer is taken on a journey of two young men who seek adventure before they must settle down in their chosen professions. They travel all over South America, face some difficult obstacles and meet individuals that forever changed their lives. Ernesto encounters many people that completely change is outlook on the common man. He finds himself defending the poor and befriending the sick.
Ernesto’s travels in his diaries were not his first. According to Eduardo Elena in Travel and Nationalism in Ernesto Guevara’s Argentina he traveled throughout his life. Also in this document we discover that there was a mass migration in Argentina at the time. People were moving from the rural areas to the big cities to be able to survive. We see this in the scene with the poor married couple desperate for a job at the mines. Tourism was also being publicized in Argentina. Many citizens were also going from place to place discovering the “real” Argentina. Elena also states that even though Guevara was a middle class citizen traveling along the Argentinean country side to many land marks that were frequented by tourists, he himself was not a tourist. He was searching for the “soul” of the individual. You see that in the film as well. He feels compassion for the people that are struggling to survive. He even gives the poor married couple the 15 American dollars that could have fed them later on in the trip because he felt the need to do for others. Also in the film Ernesto develops a sense of determination to help the less fortunate that inspires his revolutionary ideals later on in life.
In Zulawki’s The National Revolution and Bolivia in the 1950s she criticizes Guevara’s failures in Bolivia. She claims that he did not understand what alliances would have been useful. Also, she questions whether Guevara would have been more successful in leading Bolivia into revolution if had simply stuck around long enough to learn and understand what the people actually needed and how the best ways to accomplish those goals were. In the film however he is portrayed as being kind and completely understand the needs for the Bolivian people.
Also in the film, we see that Guevara feels compassion for the people that are struggling to survive in Bolivia. He even gives the poor married couple the 15 American dollars that could have fed them later on in the trip because he felt the need to do for others. Also in the film Ernesto develops a sense of determination to help the less fortunate that inspires his revolutionary ideals later on in life.
The film’s accuracy has been questioned on whether the accounts written in Guevara’s diaries were completely true. The actual accounts may be embellished a little but the impression that the film gives the viewer is that Guevara was this smart middle class man who set out with his friend on an adventure and had some sort of revelation on his travels, giving him the passion to change history forever.