Che (2008 Cannes Film Festival)
The biggest buzz of the festival was Steven Soderbergh’s unconventional two-for-one Che Guevara biopic that ran four hours and twenty minutes long. “The Argentine” begins with Che’s famous 1964 speech at the United Nations, and finishes with Batista’s overthrow at the hands of Che’s well-organized guerilla troops. The second half “Guerilla” picks up after Che’s lost year in Africa when he slipped into Bolivia to help lead a doomed revolution. Problematically, the two films are scheduled to be released separately, drawing into question tonal differences between them. Soderbergh doesn’t attempt to consolidate the story of Guevara’s life, but rather to concentrate on the way the rebel leader attempted to build on his success in Cuba to spread revolution around the world. Benicio Del Toro is predictably mesmerizing as Che, and however flawed the concept “Che” was the most gratifying screening experience in Cannes.
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