26 April 2015

Che, an Evaluation

A NOVELIC MEMOIR of Ernesto Guevara’s role within the Cuban—and later, the Bolivian—Revolution, Steven Soderbergh’s Che explores, through perpetually shifting camera views, plots, and time sequences, both Guevara’s tactical leadership of his guerilla troops in his moments of success in Cuba and his utter failures in securing loyal contacts and self-guided followers in Bolivia, documenting his life from his rise to revolutionary power to his eventual fall years later.

In Che: Part 1, The Argentine, a couplet of scenettes ultimately determine Guevara’s steadfast leadership skills. In the first, the audience is exposed to glimpses of men raiding a house—only later are they revealed as revolutionaries, leading to the assumption that they act to secure supplies for their troops and that all of the above is a portion of a larger mission of which the audience will soon be aware—cutting open bags of flour and stealing nearly everything upon the house’s shelves; afterwards, they march four locals, all the prisoners yelling and in tears. In the next scene, Guevara lines the guerilla men, facing him, with the locals standing behind them, and Guevara scolds each of them for their treatment of the natives, ultimately alluding to his greater belief that inappropriate behavior—in addition to stealing food, one of the men raped a native woman in the name of a better Cuba—on behalf of his troops discredits his own movement, the revolution, and cannot be tolerated. The film shows not the scavengers ever again.

22 April 2015

Evita: A Fallen Populist Queen

As John McManners, British clergyman and religious historian, once wrote, "In all of Latin America, only one other woman has aroused an emotion, devotion and faith comparable to those awakened by the Virgin of Guadalupe. In many homes, the image of Evita is on the wall next to the Virgin" (McManners 441). Eva PerĂ³n—commonly under the appellation of Evita, its diminutive—a champion of the Argentine women's suffrage movement, a voice for the nearly disenfranchised descamisados population of her nation, and a frequent base of comparison to Bernadette Soubirous, entered the world on May 7, 1919, only to fail in her battle against cervical cancer 33 years later.