By Paulo Drinot
Patience A. Schell
Read or Download Che's Travels: The Making of a Revolutionary in 1950s Latin America PDF
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Extra info for Che's Travels: The Making of a Revolutionary in 1950s Latin America
In the process, however, The Motorcycle Diaries (in both its written and ﬁlm versions) achieves an e√ect at a cost: namely, obscuring for the audience key features of the historical setting of migration in which Guevara’s voyages took place. The social landscape of the 1950s has been partially erased. Missing are the migrants moving between rural areas or relocating permanently to cities like Buenos Aires, further swelling the neighborhoods and suburbs of the postwar Argentine metropolis. Absent as well are the clusters of tourists on their way to resorts and other sites, among them working-class families participating for the ﬁrst time in Peronist programs.
He punctuated his voyage of 1951–52 with stops at hospitals, clinics, and leprosariums that were hardly standard sites for tourists but held special interest to a young man concerned with the socially marginal and the sick. There is little doubt that the risk-taking Guevara went farther than his peers to seek out people from di√erent social worlds. It is this side of Guevara’s personality that The Motorcycle Diaries best captures. By omitting references to previous travel experiences, the text presents an image of the young Guevara as wide-eyed and inexperienced, which only accentuates the drama of his discoveries on the road.
These passages of the ﬁlm underscore Guevara’s connections to a privileged social milieu, but also his personal disdain for its pretensions (conveyed through the actor Gael García Bernal’s formidable frown). The depiction of a comfortable life in Argentina establishes a foil to the poverty encountered during his journey: for example, the Ferreyra mansion, seemingly isolated in its opulence from the rest of society, o√ers a contrasting visual parallel to the remote San Pablo leper colony in Amazonian Peru near the movie’s end.
Che's Travels: The Making of a Revolutionary in 1950s Latin America by Paulo Drinot