Wednesday, December 31, 2008

He Looked a Lot Like Che Guevara

I just watched the film The Motorcycle Diaries via Netflix Internet streaming. It wasn't until I was done watching the film that I remembered that this film was based on the actual diaries of revolutionary Che Guevara. You cannot help but fall in love with the Ernesto "Che" Guevara in the film ... his passion, handsome idealism and curiosity are contagious. The story follows the 23 year old medical student Ernesto's trip, with his biochemist friend Granado, from his home in Buenos Aires, Argentina across South America to Venezuala. You watch Ernesto transformed from a young asthmatic college student, whose only interest is in graduating, traveling and women, by his experiences on the trip into a revolutionary. They meet coal miners, migrant workers, persecuted communists, lepers and tour the ruins of the ancient Inca Empire at the top of Machu Pichu. Like Jack Kerouac's Sal Paradise in On the Road, Ernesto traveled to find America and found a lot in himself as well. Spoiler alert: The film's climax comes when he decides to celebrate his birthday at the leper colony. The medical staff at San Pablo leper colony are segregated by the Amazon River. He dives in and swims across to cheers and jeers and emerges on the other side transformed. What a great image! I am adding the book to my wish list now. Let us all be transformed to face the changes and challenges of the new year.

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