Che Part One: The Argentine

Year: 2009
Production Co: Laura Bickford Productions
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Producer: Benicio Del Toro/Laura Bickford
Writer: Peter Buchman
Cast: Benicio Del Toro

Once again Stephen Soderbergh looks like a different filmmaker all over again as he attacks the story of the world's most famous revolutionary.

Benicio Del Toro has the look, the imposing stature, the mumble and even the athsmatic wheeze of Guevara as he battles Batista's forces from the jungles of Cuba alongside Fidel Castro. He transforms from the idealistic Mexico City dinner party attendee who falls under Castro's charm to a grizzled soldier who's seen too many years of combat but carries on, wholly committed to his beliefs.

It's interspersed with his 1960s appearance at the UN as Cuba's trade minister and makes for fascinating viewing as the revolution rolls along winning ever-bigger victories and gradually conquering the hearts and minds of Cuba.

There isn't a lot of emotional detail, the film never really getting under the characters' skins, but rather it's just the story as the history books tell us, which is fascinating enough.

If you're not familiar with the movement Castro and Guevara led or the attitudes, sights, sounds and landscapes of the time, Soderbergh has again cemented himself a master by giving us what looks like a definitive account.

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