This article originally appears on Boston Band Crush ). This weekend, Benicio del Toro will be hosting Q&A sessions after screenings of his new 4+ hour film, Che, at Kendall Square Cinemas.
Those showtimes are, according to a statement from the theater:
Sunday, January 18 at 7:00 pm
Monday, January 19 at 1:00 pm & 7:00 pm
I expect that the Q&A might be quite interesting. There is a great deal of controversial material that may or may not be included in the film, with either inclusion or exclusion resulting in potential controversy. For one thing, Ernesto “Che” Guevara is an intensely revered figure in the United States, but as far as I can tell, it’s often by people who buy t-shirts with his silhouette at Hot Topic. In fact, I would not be the least bit surprised if the common image is a registered trademark. There are, of course, those who do have a real knowledge of his life and teachings and promote his ideas, but I have encountered them less frequently.
I have no real idea how the man has been handled in this film, so I can’t comment on that, but I do expect that the theater may be filled with politically minded folk from both sides of the coin. I hope this does provoke an interesting and controlled discussion of the film.
Rather than attempting to summarize the sides, here are some randomly selected websites about his politics (I apologize that I am not qualified to determine whether these are the specific finest examples of the pros and cons, so feel free to leave comments suggesting other sites to examine):
The official synopsis statement from the theater is:
Director Steven Soderbergh’s two-part epic about the life of Ernesto “Che” Guevara stars Benicio Del Toro (Best Actor, 2008 Cannes Film Festival) in a tour de force performance as the legendary revolutionary. Part One shows how Che proved to be an indispensible fighter, along with Fidel Castro, in the overthrow of the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. As he throws himself into the struggle, Che is embraced by his comrades and the Cuban people. Che rises to prominence in the Cuban Revolution, from doctor to commander to revolutionary hero. Part Two shows Che at the height of his fame and power. Then he disappears, re-emerging incognito in Bolivia, where he organizes a small group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits to start the great Latin American Revolution. The story of the Bolivian campaign is a tale of tenacity, sacrifice, idealism, and of guerrilla warfare that ultimately fails, bringing Che to his death. Through this story, we come to understand how Che remains a symbol of idealism and heroism that lives in the hearts of people around the world. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see the film in its entirety, with an intermission, before it is released as two features! Special admission applies.
CHE will be presented in its Special Roadshow Edition at the Kendall Square Cinema for one week only. In the Roadshow Edition, both CHE: PART ONE and CHE: PART TWO will be presented in one showing, with an intermission, for one special ticket price.