Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Faces of Che

On October 9, 1967, Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara was shot by the Bolivian army. He died a hero of the Cuban revolution. But Che also had a dark side.

In 1955, in Mexico, Ernesto "Che" Guevara met Fidel Castro, leader of the July 26th Movement. He was one of 82 men who left with Castro for Cuba in November 1956 on a motorboat called Granma. Only a small number were to survive the struggle against the regime of Fulgencio Batista. This film looks at the good and bad sides of Ernesto Guevara.

Castro and Guevara became the core of the rebel army in the Sierra Maestra. Guevara, from Argentina, began as a doctor but soon rose through the ranks to become a respected commander. The son of a bourgeois family, he remains to this day the face of the revolution. But he also had a dark side: he was uncompromising towards himself and others. He had few scruples about executing political opponents, often without a trial. As head of the Cuban National Bank and Minister for Industrial and Agrarian Reform, Guevara shared responsibility for the collapse of the Cuban economy. In November 1966, he left for Bolivia, where he and other Cuban fighters founded the Bolivian Liberation Movement. He was wounded in battle and taken prisoner. On 9 October 1967, Che was shot dead by the Bolivian military with the approval of the CIA.