Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'iVIOLATED'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's Iliad considers fresh offer for T-Mobile

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Back to school!

Read more

WEB NEWS

USA: Thousands pay tribute to Michael Brown

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Anti-govt protesters briefly seize Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

The rise and fall of Che Guevara

Latest update : 2008-05-22

Steven Soderbergh presented his four and a half hour epic on Che Guevara Wednesday night. The powerful film is a strong contender for the Golden Palm, and is not without hidden political references. Read Arnab Banerjee's review

 
An ‘epic film’ in two parts
 
After having presented Ocean’s Thirteen last year out of competition, prime Hollywood director Steven Soderbergh is back, in competition this time, with Che, a four and a half hour epic in two parts on legendary Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara. 
 
In Cannes Wednesday, a banner of Che Guevara graced the building opposite the Lumière cinema theatre, where films in competition are screened. Young fans of the Che Guevara lined up since the morning to try to get tickets for the screening. 
 
A screening which, in reality, scared a lot of festival-goers away. The two parts of Che, to be released separtely in October and November were screened one after the other in Canns - taking away almost five hours in one’s schedule.  
 
Indeed, the epic film that lasts more than three hours is scarce in our times. But Che will definitely the annals of epic film history, more so because it follows a principle of the genre that dates back to Greek poet Homer - a narrative centred on the rise and fall of one central character. 
 
Che - the rise and the fall
 
The version of Che presented in competition is not the final version that is to hit the screens this winter. Nevertheless, the film’s concentrated and documented portrayal of Che Guevara left the serious cinema goer awestruck. The sheer determination of Benicio Del Toro’s interpretation of Guevara commands respect not only for the character, but also his cause. 
 
The first part, provisionally called The Argentine narrates how Che Guevara helped Fidel Castro overthrow Cuban dictator Batista in 1959. The army of guerillas, ushered on by the people captures one Batista stronghold after the other. An excellently filmed battle in Santa Clara is followed by the ultimate step - the taking over of Havana. 
 
The second part, called The Guerilla ,starts in 1965, when Guevara leaves Cuba to continue his revolutionary doctrine in Bolivia. While The Argentine focused more on Che’s ideals and revolutionary doctrine, The Guerilla concentrates on his superhuman determination faced with conditions that keep on deteriorationg. With the help of the United States, the Bolivian army crushes the guerilla movement, and executes the Che. 
 
The Guerilla is the more contemplative of the two parts, and the stark yet stunning photography in the Bolivian forests smoothly complements the guerilla’s state of mind. 
 
In the end, the story of Che is simply the tragic story of a character whose ideals led to his rise, and his downfall, much like classic Greek tradegy. 
 
 
 
Watch the entire show by clicking "The Cannes Reports" in the right column.
 

Check out web correspondent Arnab Banerjee’s video blog.

 

 

 

21/05/08 'Lorna's Silence' - the Dardennes nearing saturation?

19/05/08 Sociological phenomenon or just a movie ? 

17/05/08 Critics are eyeing a French palm d’or 

16/05/08 Cannes openers set somber tone 

 

 

 

 

 

Date created : 2008-05-22

COMMENT(S)