Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Che, Part One And Che, Part Two: The Films That Celebrate A Murderer And Communist Thug

I have long been interested in Che Guevara, although I am hardly an admirer, and I’ve read scores of books about him, including his Bolivia war diary and his other works.

So as a student of history, as well as a film buff, I forced myself to sit through the two long films about Che Guevara last week on the IFC cable channel.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh with Benicio Del Toro as Guevara, the film was made in two parts with the first part dealing with Guevara’s participation in the Cuban revolution, while the second part jumps ahead to Guevara’s vain and failed attempt to bring violent Communist revolution to Bolivia.

The film smartly skips right over Guevara’s role as the bloody chief executioner of scores of Cubans after the revolution, and his subsequent disastrous handling of the Cuban economy as the minister of finance.

I say smartly, as Del Toro, who produced the films, and director Soderbergh are great admirers of the late revolutionary. Rather, they are admirers of Guevara’s phony iconic reputation. The reality is quite another matter.

The films show Guevara in his best light, with numerous scenes of him healing the sick and wounded (Guevara was a doctor before he was a murderer), but they only offer one scene of him executing people. And those men were Cuban deserters, rapists and murderers. There were no scenes of him putting bullets through prisoners’ heads, or gleefully overseeing mass executions in Cuba.

Humbert Fontova, like me, does not share the romantic view of Guevara.

He wrote an interesting piece for http://www.newsmax.com/ that offers another point of view.

I interviewed Fontova for Counterterrorism magazine. I'm a contributing editor to the quarterly magazine for law enforcement, government and military people worldwide.

You can read the Fontova interview via the links below:

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