The True Story of Che Guevara – The Documentary

Argentinian doctor; joined Castro in Mexico in 1954; a leader of the 1956-59 Cuban Revolution. Che served as president of Cuba’s national bank and as Cuba’s minister of industry in the period immediately following the Cuban Revolution.

Towards the end of his formal affiliation with the Cuban government, Che came to implicitly criticize Soviet bureacracy. His positions put him at odds with the party line of the Cuban CP. In 1965, Che realized that the defence of the Cuban revolution and the creation of revolutions abroad were naturally not always in sync, and this ultimately led to his resignation and his return to revolutionary work abroad.

During Che’s subsequent revolutionary campaigns, he wrote his Message to the Tricontinental (1967) in which he openly criticized the Soviet Union; claiming that the Northern hemisphere of the world, both the Soviet Union and the US, exploited the Southern hemisphere of the world. He strongly supported the Vietnamese Revolution, and urged his comrades in South America to create “many vietnams”.

In 1965 Che left Cuba to set up guerrilla forces first in the Congo and then later in Bolivia, where he was ultimately captured and killed in October 1967. Accounts of his execution have varied over the years, but many contemprary accounts indicate some degree of collaboration between Bolivia’s government troops and the United States CIA.

Guevara developed a theory of primacy of military struggle, in particular concept of guerilla foquismo. Many of Che’s theories regarding guerilla tactics are articulated in his 1961 work “Guerilla Warfare.”

Director: Maria Berry
Writer: Maria Berry
Stars: Mario Ramirez Reyes, Andrew Blood and Jay Costelo

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Video Rating: / 5

Of Cuba, we often only show its capital city, Havana, or its folklore. As the country’s general elections are heating up, this film, in the shape of a road movie, will allow us to travel across the island. A journey made at a key moment, as the debate surrounding post-Castro Cuba is more prevalent than ever before; Raul Castro himself has declared, “The country must change to avoid sinking.” It has indeed been a year since Cubans started being able to work for their own bread. Another proof of the “revolution” prompted by Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother and heir to his throne, is enabling his fellow citizens to legally acquire and sell their homes or even their vehicles. What impact does that hold upon the daily lives of Cubans? From Santiago de Cuba, the nation’s second most important city and starting point to its “revolutionary pathway”, we’ll be meeting a hairdresser who has just began working independently, a state-employed single mother from a backwoods town in the mountains who is struggling to make ends meet, a former administration executive who left his job to try his hand at agriculture, and even a priest whose celebration of the Virgin Mary equals that of the nation’s flag. Our journey across the sugarcane fields towards the nation’s capital will help understand the inner workings of a worn-out socialist system desperately attempting to jam its unavoidable decline, at least economically, by visiting a factory that has long been shut down and whose reopening is awaited like the Messiah. Our narrative will also include striking videos recorded by dissidents as well as archival footage. Beyond the revolutionary fables, what of the school and health systems still considered brands of the regime? What are a 20-year-old’s dreams made up of in Cuba? From a former barracks converted into a school, to the hospitals’ interiors, the film demonstrates the gap between reality and bygone revolutionary fantasies. As we go through shops, marketplaces, we witness firsthand the Kafkaesque effects of the dual currency system the Cubans must deal with to satisfy their most basic needs. And all along our journey, as we also decipher what went on behind the scenes of the shoot, what with our local guide who was as much an assistant as he was a censor, we draw as close as possible to the complex reality of a political system clinging to its last breath… Our road movie broadens its reach through the interviews led by Daniel Leconte with important political figures, intellectuals such as the Eduardo Manet, or even the Cuban journalist Julio Cesar Galvez Rodriguez.

Director: Léa Viktoria, Frédéric Vassort & Daniel Leconte
Duration: 90′
Year: 2013
Producer: Daniel Leconte
Video Rating: / 5

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