Motorcycle Diaries

Motorcycle diaries was an awesome film.  It was a unique mixture between the humor of Che and his sidekick, and the political problems that many Latin American countries were facing during the 1950s.  The 50′s was a time of internal migration within Latin America and the rural poor were on a mass exodus to the city (Elena).   The film focuses on the voyage of Ernesto (Che) Guevara and Alberto Grenado as the two men travel across Latin America.  The men begin their road trip just messing around and riding a uniquely handicapped motorbike, but end with a different view about Latin America and its people.  We have seen a theme with the last few films that we have viewed and how they really focus on Latin America and its beauty covering up for its corrupt social problems. 

The particular focus of this film was the struggle for agrigarian reform and the power struggle for the wealthy elites.  At this point in history there were so many members of society that were only classified by a number.  As in slavery, the people of those lands were alienated from everything that they knew and forced to work and live well below their means.  Although Guevara was made to look like an empathetic individual that was always willing to lend a helping hand Drinot felt as if he removed himself from the injustice just as easily has he left the country.  He did not exactly view the indigenous peoples of Latin America as his equals.  Drinot goes on to explain that even though the feeling of empathy was present he still refered to the indigenous peoples as “animals”, spreading around racist views and stereotypes with ease (Drinot 102).  Zulawski discusses how the indigenous peoples were displaced and made to work strenuous jobs that they were not used to.  An great example is in the film when Che and Grenada come across the traveling couple that choose to work in the mines as their only source of income.  Elena also makes a similar point in saying that Guevara was actually against tourism (Elena 29).  Although all of his views were not exactly aligned with justice his main point was to fight for a radical change.  Which is what he planned to do.  As a student and doctor he made his mark on society, although his real life story did not parallel with the film exactly.