Motorcycle Diaries

The 2004 film Motorcycle Diaries tells the story of two men, Guevara and Alberto, who paths run the same direction for a short while together. Although they are on the same journey, their outcomes are some what different. On their journey through Argentina they see the same things, but have different perspectives on what they viewed. The viewers of this film are able to relive Guevara’s journey through his journal.

Critics of The Motorcycle Diaries question how accurate the journal is. That is exactly what Elena’s article does. Right away she points out that this wasn’t Guevara’s first time traveling, in the film he tells Alberto he has never traveled before. She says he traveled as a teenager and in his early twenties. This is interesting to know because it seemed like this particular journey experience was an eye opener for Guevara. There must have just been something about the people and places he saw at this time of his life that made him look at the world differently. In Zulawski’s article, What Did Che See?, she mentions that Guevara “…managed to draw quite accurate conclusions about the political sentiments of the middle and up classes, as well as about the nature of the MNR government.” However different Guevara viewed the world he must have been onto something.

The film portrayed Guevara as an honest person. He always told the truth, he was inquisitive about everything, and kept an open mind with everyone he met. Within all of his travels he was able to see a lot. Upper class people who had an easy life, middle class people who worked hard for their families (this would be where Guevara’s family fit in) and, as we see in the film, he came across some very poor people. Within all of the classes he could see the truths of the “real world”… as in how the lower class had been wronged by the upper classes. He came across a couple, in the film, who were kicked off of their land because someone told them they were. And he talked about how creative and smart the Inca’s were for the stone structures and cities they built and then how easy it was for someone with more money to come along and kick them out of their home. Although Guevara may have traveled prior to this trip, he was able to see the truth of people and their hardships on this one particular trip.

The film made it clear that Guevara’s heart broke for the people he met while traveling through Argentina. Zulawski’s article also brings up the point that he wrote in journals and letters, and these “can provide good sources for historians”. His writings had no agenda, just an account of his travels, thoughts, and about the people he met. His writings show the passion he gained for his country and what inspired him to become a martyr for his beliefs. These boys were looking for a fun trip, but through a somewhat humorous story we see their lives and hearts transformed into something beautiful.