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Che the (4 hour) Movie (Update)

John on January 26, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Update: Via Hot Air, star of the film Benicio Del Toro doesn’t like being reminded that Che was a mass murderer.

An excellent review by Peter Suderman at Culture 11:

Che seems to be an attempt to understand the revolutionary mindset while ignoring revolutionary ideas. Sure, it’s offhandedly mentioned that Che is a Marxist, but in Soderbergh’s vision, his ideology hardly figures into the picture. Instead, it’s the character and will of the revolutionary that animate Soderbergh’s portrayal, as if somehow it’s possible to separate Che’s revolutionary pose from the Communism and Marxism to which he subscribed.

So Che tiptoes around both the atrocities and the ideology that are central to the guerrilla leader’s life. Soderbergh can’t feign ignorance — he claims to have spent years researching Che for the film. And what did he discover during that time? I could hazard a guess, but, conveniently, Soderbergh’s already informed us himself: “He was a hardass! This is what I learned.” A voice in the crowd shouts back that Che was a murderer. “OK, fine,” Soderbergh responds, which ought to tell you something: “OK, fine,” is the response I might give when the bartender tells me he’s out of my favorite whiskey, not what I say when someone tells me that a person I just complimented is a murderer.

The director proceeds to explain that, sure, the Che he depicts probably would’ve been fully capable of mass-killings and other atrocities. But then comes the kicker: “It doesn’t matter whether I agree with that or not.” In other words: Who cares if Che was a mass murderer? What matters isn’t whether mass killing is good or bad, but that he worked really hard at it! By this logic, Soderbergh likely would’ve been more impressed had Che’s death count been even higher.

What kind of person mistakes Che for a hero?

Bonus Hollywood stupidity. Matt Damon is being offered $110K to debate Bill Kristol on the Iraq war.

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Category: Movies |

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