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Che: Part One | 2008 | R | - 2.7.5

Che Guevara (Benicio Del Toro), under the guidance and direction of Fidel Castro, organizes a guerilla army and defeats the Batista regime in 1950s Cuba. Also with Julia Ormond, Demian Bichir, Alejandro Ramirez, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Rodrigo Santoro. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. In Spanish with English subtitles. [2:06]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - From a distance, we see a man drag a woman toward the back of a home (it is implied that he is going to sexually assault her). A man reprimands another man for raping a teenager.
 Men are seen bare-chested in one scene. A man is shown bare-chested from the side. A portion of a woman's bare midriff is shown.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - From a distance, we see an injured man fall to the ground, a man kicks him in his side and other men pour gasoline on him and they set him on fire.
 Men shoot at other men on a hill: a man is shot in the chest and falls backwards, a man is shot in the face and we see blood explode from his face, and a man is shot in the arm. A man on the roof of a tank is shot and falls to the ground. A man is shot in the back and his blood splatters onto a door. A man is shot multiple times and falls to the ground. Soldiers emerge from a train car and are shot by rebel forces (many of them fall to the ground). Two men are shot from a distance on a rooftop and fall.
 A man is shot in the chest and a large bloodstain appears through his uniform (he falls backwards, dead). A man is shot in the back and falls dead into the lap of another dead man. A man is shot, winces in pain, and we see blood. A man shoots another man in the neck and he falls to the ground. Guerilla soldiers execute a man in the woods by shooting him (they shoot him in the chest and his body jerks forward).
 Guerillas shoot into army barracks and one soldier is shot and falls. Soldiers chase the revolutionaries and fire multiple shots at them. Men with rifles sit in hills overlooking an opposing forces' barracks, a man shoots into an office, and the bullet hits a radio (a man inside is startled and falls off his chair).
 A house is seen on fire, and three dead bodies lay face down with their hands bound by rope behind their backs (we do not see the bodies close up).
 A guerilla camp is attacked by planes, which drop bombs (we also hear the sounds of guns being fired). People run and yell as bombs are dropped on a camp (we hear loud bangs and see large explosions and people fall to the ground and scream).
 A man makes a Molotov cocktail, lights it and throws it into army barracks where it explodes and lights a roof on fire. A man fires a bazooka at a building and it erupts into flames and explodes. A man throws a grenade into army barracks and we see and hear a large explosion. We see a clock attached to a ticking bomb, and there's a large explosion in water (no one is injured). Air strikes take place in neighborhoods: large explosions are heard and seen, and people run and scream and fall. A man fires a bazooka and blows up an army tank.
 A man lies on a table breathing heavily, his arm and leg are bandaged and bloody and a doctor is attempting to help him. Men carry a wounded man in a homemade stretcher. A man is seen with a bloody head wound. A doctor attends to a wound on a man's back, the doctor wipes blood away with gauze, smells it, and says, "it's infected." A man shakes and screams in pain while other men hold him down (he is sweaty and wheezing) and the doctor says, "we have to get him to a hospital." A doctor pokes a man's bloody bullet hole wound (it's in his arm) with a needle, while the man bites down on a stick.
 A man is shot in the face (we do not see it). Bodies are seen on the ground. Men carry a dead man, whose eyes are open. People are shown with bloody heads and arms after an air strike. A dead soldier is shown lying on a table. Dead soldiers and dead civilians are seen lying in the street. A man is seen with a bloody forehead. A man is shot and falls face up. Men run towards army barracks engulfed in flames passing by dead bodies.
 Cars are shown on fire in a street. People are shown piling up furniture and mattresses in the middle of city streets. A train track that has been sabotaged is shown, flying through the air and landing on its side with smoke coming out; the train is shown on fire while dead bodies lay nearby. Rebel forces shoot at army trucks.
 In black and white stock footage of Cuba in 1952 we see police run after civilians and hit one man with a nightstick on the back. Footage of people carrying a casket is also shown. In a black and white newsreel we see images of a car riddled with bullet holes, multiple bullet holes in a wall inside a home, a door's lock that has been shot off and bullet holes in the door, a box of bullets, a floor covered in blood, a wall lined with rifles (police pick up the rifles) and handguns.
 Male and female guerillas carry and hold rifles continuously throughout the film (over their shoulders, in their hands, while they sleep, as they talk, they lean on them, over their heads, in firing positions). Guerillas are seen unloading and carrying boxes of ammunition from jeeps. Guerillas take over towns: officers come out of police headquarters with their hands up, men fire guns in the streets, guerillas ride in jeeps patrolling towns, and a man orders his troops to "blow the bridge" in a town.
 A man yells out, "they're shooting mortars!" and we hear and see a large smoky explosion. We hear the sound of bullets whizzing through the air.
 Two men threaten a woman and ask for her money and her daughter. A man is seen dragging and pushing a woman (she screams) while another man holds the woman's mother at gunpoint.
 A man gasps for air, wheezes and coughs, leans on his rifle as he tries to catch his breath, and a man talks about the man having an asthma attack. A man is seen lifting another man up and down off the ground gently while the other man gasps for breath and wheezes (the man is attempting to alleviate the other man's asthma attack).
 A man urges another man to move through the forest yelling, "They're going to kill us!" A man talks about receiving machine guns and 9000 pounds of ammunition. Men talk about organizing a coup. A man speaks to guerilla about launching an attack on opposing forces and what a "huge psychological impact" it will have. A man talks about Cuba and its poverty, its infant mortality rate, how people live in shacks, and are illiterate and unemployed. A man talks about Cuba's "thugs of the Dictatorship," and that they'll "gun down anyone who speaks out." A man talks to another man about smuggling in fighters. After being shot, a man cries out, "It's my arm and leg!" A man tells another man who is injured, "Don't fall asleep." A man from the village expresses fear saying, "they're going to burn my shack and kill my family." A female guerilla tells a man, "On our side 6 dead, 17 wounded." A man tells another man, "This is the bullet I removed from your body." A man gives another man orders to burn a guerilla camp ("torch it"). A man tells his men that they must "harass them constantly. Don't even let them breathe!" A man tells his men to "leave no wounded, leave no weapons." A man tells his men "We respect the peasants... if you mess with them you will be punished." A man yells, "Shoot anyone who tries to leave!" A man says he found "torture instruments." A man orders his troops to "Take the church." Men on a rooftop surrender and yell, "Don't shoot!" A man says, "Shoot yourself for committing treason." A man tells other men, "The soldiers tell the people that the rebels will kill them." Two men with their arms tied with rope behind their backs are told about peasants being tortured, a teenager being raped, that treason is punishable by death, and the death penalty. Men talk to each other about dying of hunger. A teenage boy says, "I'd rather shoot myself" (than not join the revolutionaries). A teenage boy says he and his brother would "prefer to die on the mountain than to go home humiliated." A man gives a speech and admits that his soldiers execute. A man talks about his brother being killed. A man is upset when he hears his friend has been shot ("they shot him in the head. We couldn't recover his body"). A woman talks about her cousin being killed.
 Two men find a dead pig in the woods and they are fired upon by enemies (they run and are not injured).
 A man yells through a window of a car at another man. A woman yells and is dragged away by police. A man rides in a police car in New York City and crowds protest by holding up signs and shouting "Murderer!" "Assassin!" and "Go back to Cuba!" A man cries as he's being held prisoner. A man drives a stolen car and is reprimanded.
 A dead pig that has been cut open hangs from a tree while flies land on it (we see its innards which are pink and fleshy and what appears to be its ribcage).
 Men use rifles for target practice. Men clean guns. A woman talks about wanting to have a gun and wanting to fight. A man is seen sitting bare-chested with a cast on his arm in a Doctor's office. A man with a large sledgehammer breaks through walls.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 9 F-words, 8 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 9 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for homosexuals, 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People drink wine at a dinner party, and a man is given rum before he is executed. A man smokes a cigar in multiple scenes, and men smoke cigars, cigarettes and pipes in various scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Cuban Revolution, guerilla warfare, Fidel Castro, Fulgencio Batista, Marxism, Communism, Imperialism, Capitalism, Democracy, Fascism, military theory, weaponry, executions, poverty, loyalty, literacy, United Nations, American foreign policy.

MESSAGE - Che Guevara was an enigmatic figure, who wanted to help the poor of Cuba, and while he was compassionate, he was also responsible for the mass carnage that inevitably accompanies revolutions.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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