Monday, February 13, 2006


From the New York Post, Page Six. Emphasis mine

February 13, 2006 -- CONSERVATIVE film buffs are disgusted that director Steven Soderbergh has Benicio del Toro playing Communist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara as a hero in a movie shooting all over New York.

They fear that the untitled flick, co-starring Benjamin Bratt and Ryan Gosling, will glorify the rabble-rouser whose face graces millions of T-shirts sold to young people unaware of his history.

"Most Hollywood films about people like Che Guevara tend to shy away from the controversial things, like the fact that he presided over firing squads and executed people," said a spokeswoman for the Cuban-American National Foundation.

"Even in history books, these things aren't properly documented, so we'd be surprised if this movie does portray the truth accurately. But [Soderbergh] is a great filmmaker, so we'll wait and see."

Nationally syndicated radio host and movie critic Michael Medved told PAGE SIX: "I think to romanticize a mass killer and commie thug is terribly sad. With 'The Motorcycle Diaries' [a recent release about the young Che], at least they could say it was about when he was a young man - before he had power and abused it. But it sounds like this film will be like the 1969 Che movie, with Jack Palance as Fidel Castro and Omar Sharif as Che, which was one of the worst movies ever made."

Medved continued: "I don't imagine this film will be a smash with [Cuban exiles] in South Florida, where many people know about the real Che Guevara and his legacy."

South Florida is home to the country's biggest enclave of Cuban-Americans, most of whom fled the Caribbean nation after Castro came to power in 1959.

The Argentine-born Che was gunned down in 1967 in Bolivia by government soldiers (trained by Green Berets and the CIA) as he tried to spread communist revolution throughout the Third World.

Del Toro was spotted around the city late last month sporting Guevara's signature attire - olive-green military fatigues and an omnipresent black beret - during shooting.

The filmmakers reportedly wanted to shoot at the United Nations before scheduled renovations changed its recognizable facade. The picture is to hit theaters next year. Producer Laura Bickford told PAGE SIX that critics should "wait to see [the movie] before commenting on it."

1 comment:

A.M. Mora y Leon said...

I'd give it a chance, though I welcome the public pressure, just to remind tinseltowners.

I understand this one really is going to tell the truth about the bastard. I really hope so.