After the Cuban Revolution, Che is at the height of his fame and power. Then he disappears, re-emerging incognito in Bolivia, where he organizes a small group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits to start the great Latin American Revolution.
The story of the Bolivian campaign is a tale of tenacity, sacrifice, idealism, and of guerrilla warfare that ultimately fails, bringing Che to his death. Through this story, we come to understand how Che remains a symbol of idealism and heroism that lives in the hearts of people around the world.
The second part begins with Guevara arriving in Bolivia disguised as a middle-aged Uruguayan businessman and drives into the mountains to meet his men. The film is organized by the days that he was in the country. On Day 26, there is solidarity among Guevara’s men despite his status as foreigner. By Day 67, Guevara has been set up for betrayal. He tries to recruit some peasants only to be mistaken for a cocaine smuggler. On Day 100, there is a shortage of food and Guevara exercises discipline to resolve conflicts between his Cuban and Bolivian followers.
By Day 113, some of the guerrillas have deserted and the Bolivian army has discovered their base camp. Tamara “Tania” Bunke, Guevara’s revolutionary contact has botched elaborate preparations and given away their identity much to his chagrin. On Day 141, the guerrillas capture some Bolivian soldiers that refuse to join the revolution and are free to return to their villages. CIA advisers arrive to supervise anti-insurgent activity and training. On Day 169, Guevara’s visiting friend, the French intellectual Regis Debray is captured by members of the Bolivian army, which launch an aerial attack on Day 219.
Guevara grows sick and by Day 280 can barely breathe as a result of his acute asthma. By Day 340, Guevara is trapped by the Bolivian army and while wounded is surrounded and captured. The next day, a helicopter lands and a Cuban-American CIA agent Félix Rodríguez emerges. Guevara says, “I don’t talk to traitors.” Rodriguez responds, “You executed my uncle”. The Bolivian high command are then phoned and give approval for Guevara’s execution. He is killed on October 9, 1967, and his corpse lashed to the landing skids of a helicopter and flown out.
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Yul Vazquez, René Lavan, Franka Potente, Julia Ormond, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Demian Bichir
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Release Date: December 12, 2008
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: IFC Films
Box Office: $1,336,708 (US total)