Sunday, March 30, 2008
The Motorcycle Diaries
The blog post should actually be called The Motorcycle Diaries, or Che Guavara. So, obviously, I watched The Motorcycle Diaries, a film adaptation from Ernesto Che Guevara's memoir of his nine month expedition through Latin America.
The plot was extremely interesting, especially because it actually occurred. I found this entirely inspiring: So, Guevara, then 23, decides that before he can finish medical school, where he was specializing in aiding lepers, he must travel South America while he still can to experience and see what he had only read about in books. The road trip experience that everyone wants to take before they get tied down into a job. Well, along the way, Guevara witnesses extreme poverty, ill treatment of the poor, an exiled island of lepers, exploited mine workers, and the demolished condition of the Incan civilization.
At the end of the movie, he says something like "I cannot shake what I have seen these past nine months." And he never did. He gave up medicine and devoted his life to becoming a revolutionary. He decided to live his life fighting and dying for the poor because of all he had seen on his trip. He wanted to see a united Latin America instead of the divisions between countries and classes.
I can't imagine embarking on a trip so powerful that it would cause me to change the path of my life so drastically, so drastically that it would switch my career path and lead to my eventaul death. I was just moved that he was so driven to help people. It's so honorable--so inspiring.
We all know Che Guevara by his picture above. We've all seen it before, but perhaps we never knew who this guy was or what he's done. In a nutshell, during the 1950s and 60s, Guevara was involved in Guatemala's social revolution, Fidel Castro's revolutionary 26th of July movement, and he worked as a prosecutor in Cuba as he oversaw tribunals and executions. At the end of his life, he tried to ignite a revolution in the Congo where, in Bolivia, he was captured and executed. He is now known as an icon for socialist revolutionary movements. I bet you didn't know this guy suffered from terrible asthma attacks either, eh?
Anyway, I wanted to promote the book and movie because I found it inspiring, motivating, and educational. It's one of those pieces that makes you examine your own life and make you hope that you're not taking anything for granted. It makes me want to go out on the road and discover life as it is, not how it's portrayed in books. It makes me want to live for something meaningful. Powerful emotions evoked by this text.
So, has anyone seen the film? What did you think of it? What do you think of Che Guevara?