Sunday, July 5, 2009

"We won the war. revolution starts now"

Che Part 1
Theres so much information available about Ernesto Che Guvera . Books have been written, over and over again; movies have been made; his life and legacy has been discussed in many platforms …
So, what is new in one another movie about Che?
From the overabundant data available, what you choose to highlight and what you deliberately edit out will define the theme of the movie- not just the character on whom the movie is named.
And of course the way you present it matters too.
CHE Part 1 stands out with its element of contemporaneity . Eventhough the movie is structured as an interview with CHE himself, inerview portions have been carefully relegated to the bare minimum.Events from the past are not recollections by the protoganist, but are highlighted by the filmaker to illustrate the film maker’s reading / interpretation .Happenings are not linearly arranged- it goes back and front in time. In some cases, voice over and images are from different periods of time. It could be a deliberate attempt to re orient the audience and force them lose track of the concept of time.
Viewed from a “now” point of view, events from the past assume significant relevance.
Che made a briliant speech at the United Nations in 1964. Out of the long speech, limited portions are re enacted in the movie.
…our prime minister laid out the five points necessary for the existence of a secure peace in the Caribbean. They are:
1. A halt to the economic blockade and all economic and trade pressures by the United States, in all parts of the world, against our country.
2. A halt to all subversive activities, launching and landing of weap- ons and explosives by air and sea, organization of mercenary invasions, infiltration of spies and saboteurs, acts all carried out from the territory of the United States and some accomplice countries.
3. A halt to pirate attacks carried out from existing bases in the United States and Puerto Rico.
4. A halt to all the violations of our airspace and our territorial waters by U.S. aircraft and warships.
5. Withdrawal from the Guantánamo naval base and return of the Cuban territory occupied by the United States.”
While Che makes his above speech, images on the screen are of those where Che and his band of mercenaries battling it out in the jungles of Cuba a few years ago. Reference to USA leaving the Guantanamo Bay would toss the viewer from 1964 to the 50s and back to “now”!
In one stream of story telling, the narration ends just before Guevera and his army enter Havana. On his way to Havana, Che finds one of his army men riding in a costly car recovered from one of the captured towns. Che rebukes him and orders him to return back the car where he found it.
you can reach Havana either by truck or jeep or by foot. Even if it belongs to Batista, you cant drive your way to Havana in a stolen car
The movie ends with this contemporary message from Ernesto Che Guevera (or is it from the film maker? )
The movie attempts to enter the mind of a revolutionary, locate the source of his inspiration (“love… love for humanity”), aim (“yes, I know what I am fighting for”) and the battles he would fight in the present day world.

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