Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reel People: Benicio Del Toro is Che Guevara

And he plays this role in two films, Guerrilla and The Argentine. Both scheduled for 2008 release dates. Both films are directed by academy award winner Steven Soderbergh, who directed Benicio Del Toro in his academy award winning performance from Traffic.

Ernesto "Che" Guevera de La Serna

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born in 1928 in Argentina. As a young medical student he traveled Latin America and was transformed by the wide spread poverty and disease he saw. Guevara developed his own brand of radical ideology against capitalism and colonialism. He became involved first in the Guatemala social revolution.

Later he was involved Mexico, and joined up with Fidel Castro to over throw Felgencio Batista in the Cuban revolution. He continued to have several various government roles, as well as writing various dairy citations and articles on topics of revolution, guerrilla warfare and inequality.

In December of 1964 Che Guevara traveled to New York to address the United Nations as head of the Cuban delegation. He then went on a world tour where he gave his last public speech in Algiers in 1965.

Che then went to work to help spark revolutions in Congo. Guevara saw the imprint of imperialism on Africa, and thought there was significant revolutionary potential. The revolt failed and Che spent some time in Prague and moved around in various parts of the world.

Eventually in 1967 Che came back to Latin America to help in revolts in Bolivia. It was at this time a CIA operative (Felix Rodriguez) headed an attempt to capture Guevera. Here the Bolivian government killed Guevera. Although Lyndon B. Johnson claimed this was an unwise decision to execute Guevera, but he could understand the Bolivian governement's decision to do so.

Castro declared a day of public mourning for the death of Che.

It wasn't until 1997 that Che's body was discovered and it was sent to Havana where special military honors were offered.

The Argentine

The Argentine tells the story of Che's involvement in Cuba beginning with himself and Cuban exiles, led by Fidel Castro leaving from Mexico in 1956 to end the regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista. In this film Mexican actor Demián Bichir plays the role of Fidel Castro. The film also features Franka Potente as communist revolutionary and spy Tamara Bunke (also known as Tania the Guerrilla).

Guerrilla

Guerrilla more specifically deals with Che Guevara's trip in 1964 to New York City to address the United Nations. In addition to del Toro, Bichir, and Potente, roles in this film also go to Benjamin Bratt, Lou Diamond Phillips, Julie Ormond, Edgar Ramirez (who will play Pablo Escobar in 2009) and academy award nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno.

Will Benicio De Toro receive critical acclaim, his third Oscar nod and perhaps even his second Oscar win for playing this Real (Reel) Person? And for which film?

6 comments:

The Cubicle Reverend said...

scary, he just looks like him.

Will said...

He better get a Best Actor nom for this/these. Not sure how the Academy would handle a performance of the same person in sequels - as one performance or two? I guess two. Will he be competing against himself then, and stymying his chances for a win?

When they showed this at Cannes, they made it sound like it was one, 4-hr film, but everything I've seen on imdb confirms that this is indeed 2 films. I'm expecting much better things than with Eastwood's Iwo Jima films, or the Wachowski sequels, or any previous 2-films-in-1-year instances I can think of.

Jeremy said...

It was shown as a single four hour and eighteen minute film at Cannes. And, according to a Variety review, the time did not fly by: http://www.variety.com/VE1117937244.html.

crackers and cheese said...

Have you seen the Motorcycle Diaries? It's one of my favorite films, about Che's pre-revolutionary days road tripping across South America.

RC said...

@cubical, true stuff, del Toro is very well cast.

@ Will...i imagine the nom would come for the argentine, since i imagine that role to be more diverse and that film to be more successful, with guerilla having more of a documentary/good night, good luck type of feel...that's just a feeling though. But i imagine the critics groups might award him for the complete performance, but the production company push one performance...for the academy award actor race you nominate an actor not a film (it's different than directing where you nominate the film).


@ jeremy,
i can imagine watching it all at once is very tiring...whew! I did here the film was generally well received at Cannes though.

@ crackers, Motorcycle Diaries is definitly a personal favorite. I love the music, cinemotography, store, Gael Garcia Bernal's portrayl, etc. It's a phenomonal picture.

whitney said...

I don't know about Oscars, but Che is bound to be a popular figure in these days of political worries. Just like he was in the 70s, I suspect.

-Whitney
dearjesus.wordpress.com

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