Movie: The Motorcycle Diaries

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To me this is a retelling of the fable of Prince Gautama’s early forays from the castle – young men venture out into the world for the first time and encounter human suffering there. The scenes on the road are irresistable to me. The earth is a character, and the they become lost in it as I have. This is where the movie succeeds, and where I wanted it to. If it’s the political figure of Che Guevara you’re interested in, that subject is dealt with uncomfortably and erratically. I got no sense of how the young man would soon develop into a violent revolutionary socialist guerilla commander, but he clearly has a much different reaction to the suffering he meets than Gautama Buddha did. The hints the movie throws out are unsatisfying, and I don’t honestly know if it’s because it holds back too much, or because Guevara was only beginning his transformation in this period of his life.

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