The Motorcycle Diaries
Winter 2005 Main series
Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 4:00pm
Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 7:00pm
Monday, January 17, 2005 at 7:00pm
Monday, January 17, 2005 at 9:30pm
Rated 14A ·
The Motorcycle Diaries, the highly anticipated film by Walter Salles (Central Station), was showcased at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Partly based in the diaries of the legendary Che Guevara, the film chronicles his early years by way of exploring the youthful idealism of a man who would become a revolutionary and a cult hero. The film is a nostalgic road movie, set in the 1950s (Che’s trip began in 1952). Guevara’s later years are well documented, but The Motorcycle Diaries represents not so much a political film as a story of personal growth and transformation.
The young, serious Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, (Gael García Bernal, Y Tu Mamá También) and his more playful friend Alberto Granado (Rodrigo De la Serna) set out to see some of the world on their battered Norton 500 motorcycle. Though possessing different personalities, the friends share an intent desire to make the world a better place — and they want to do this before the elder of the two, Alberto, turns thirty. They take to the open road with gusto, ending their trip at a leper colony, where they feel that their medical backgrounds can enable them to be of service. They bring this same charitable sensibility to the rest of their journey, which has them covering much of the South American continent. They eschew the easy, touristy mode of travel, rather placing themselves in challenging situations that test their strength as would-be public figures. Walter Salles focuses on the personal rather than the explicitly historical, and to this end he lovingly explores both the vast landscapes and the more uncharted territories of the gorgeous South American terrain. The Motorcycle Diaries maintains an energetic pace throughout, and Gael García Bernal does a superb job of filling such big shoes and offering a rewarding psychological portrait of one of the twentieth century’s most inspiring personalities.