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Critics reviews
Steven Soderbergh United States, 2008
[In Che: Part Two,] the Cuba map from the overture of Part One clicks: these maps represent not just a geography, but a plan of attack. Now we know what we’re in for in Bolivia – and perhaps, elsewhere. The battle for Bolivia is thus a bigger wager than that of an exported national revolution – it is a test of the historical inevitability of communism in Latin America.
November 29, 2010
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It is only by watching the two films together that one fully comprehends the pity and the terror that are the mark of that most rare of film narratives—a genuine tragedy—and recognizes its fatally flawed hero as a martyr in the doomed twentieth-century struggle against global capitalism.
January 19, 2010
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Too emotionally dry to embrace but too ingenious to dismiss, Che is a fascinating, problematic film. You have to admire the stones of any movie that opens with a wordless lecture on Cuban geography but refuses to give any specifics about Castro’s revolution, yet there’s also the temptation to overpraise Soderbergh’s structuralist approach more for what it eschews (speeches, romance, identification) than for what it offers.
January 15, 2010
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The film is scrupulously intelligent, admirably evenhanded… and only very faintly dull given its extreme length. It’s just … why? Usually there’s some glimmer of vitality to be found in a project like this, even if it’s only the star’s desperation to win approval and/or an Oscar. Here, it feels more as if Soderbergh drew the subject “Che Guevara” out of a hat and then set about finding the most interesting approach he could think of.
March 19, 2009
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As is becoming the norm with Soderbergh, Che ends up affirming only its conceptual novelty. Just as The Good German drowned its revisionist portrait of postwar Berlin in ironic pomo studio-era style, and just as Bubble condescended to its nonprofessional actors by merely pretending minimalism, so does Che fail its subject by second-guessing aesthetics, reducing Guevara’s exploits to a diagram so that the man can fit into the limited range of its director’s latest exercise.
December 10, 2008
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It’s funny that, in what frequently feels like a droning historical lecture, it’s the doodles at the margins that inspire (something about the somber, dog-tired drudge of Alberto Iglesias’ music wedded to these color-coded illustrations speaks to the multifaceted ways—literal and otherwise—in which countries and continents divide themselves).
October 02, 2008
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Guevara is as intricate a figure (and as much of a cultural hero) as Bob Dylan, but while Todd Haynes in I’m Not There tried (disastrously) to dissect Dylan through a series of semantic gallery illustrations, Soderbergh more intriguingly posits Guevara as one of the many cogs in the machinery of political insurrection. As a result, the film wavers repeatedly from the engrossing to the arid.
September 26, 2008
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