The Motorcycle Diaries

Sunday I finally saw ‘The motorcycle diaries’, or ‘Diarios de motocicleta’; I had been looking forward to this movie already a while.
Was my eagerness justified? Partly. I had read most of the book, and I was hoping on an epic depiction of Guevara and Granada’s trip through the wild, stunning and magical South America that was described. My interest in the persona of Che was only secondary. The first part of the movie did quite deliver on its promise. But as Granada’s Norton (Il Poderosa!) started to falter along the way, so did in my opinion the movie. Perhaps I’m not part of the target audience – I don’t need much convincing of the injustices of the System.
But the focus on the idealism of the young Che got a bit too strong towards the end and was clearly an interpretation by the screenplay writer or director. For instance, the episode in the leper colony San Pablo is described by only a couple of paragraphs in Guevara’s diary, yet it made a big part of the movie. Some of Che’s ‘heroic’ acts in the movie (his crossing of the Amazon e.g.) and other details aren’t present in the book – perhaps Alberto Granada provided the makers of the movie with more first-hand data, as he was involved in the production.
Overall it was reasonably entertaining, thought-provoking and well-acted. My favorite scene is where Che and Granado are at night in the Chilean desert, freezing and replying to two impoverished job-seekers to the question why they travel: ‘we travel to travel’...


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