Walter Salles' THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES
What a great film this is. It’s a thoughtful, contemplative, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, road picture. Two young men — both doctors — set out on an 8,000-mile motorcycle trip through South America in 1952. One of them is a 23 year old Che Guevara. Along the way they meet people, see things, have accidents, and end up in a leper colony as attending physicians. We see Che’s stirrings of political feelings, but we’re not hit over the head with them. But they are there and we can’t help but think about future events.
The views of South America are stunning. I viewed the film in the company of my daughter, recently returned from a college semester of study that took her to Chile, Peru, and Argentina. “I was there!” she yelled repeatedly, most loudly at the view of the Valparaiso funicular.
What is most impressive, though, is the movie’s focus on the people. Dancing, singing, laughing, cringing, shivering, worriedly discussing their poverty and hard lives. The director lets the countries and the people speak for themselves.
Overall this is a very impressive movie and I wish I had seen it long ago.
Copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis D. McDonald