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The Motorcycle Diaries, Sat & Sun January 29 & 30
2005, 7:00 & 9:30

Young Che Guevara takes a road trip

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The Motorcycle Diaries shows at IFS on Sat & Sun January 29 & 30, 2005, 7:00 & 9:30

The Motorcycle Diaries
Young Che Guevara takes a road trip
Sat & Sun January 29 & 30
2005, 7:00 & 9:30

Before he was executed by a Bolivian firing squad in 1967, Argentina's Ernesto Che Guevara had become an icon of guerrilla warfare, a killer in a beret who celebrated hatred as the key to revolution. That image of Che has been co-opted by everyone from rockers to ad whores. But you won't find him in The Motorcycle Diaries, a mesmerizing look at an asthmatic, rich-boy medical student in the act of discovering his insurgent spirit.

The impetus for this enlightenment is a 1952 motorcycle trip that Ernesto (Gael Garcia Bernal), then 23, took with his biochemist pal Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna), 29. Jose Rivera based his script on the diaries both men kept of their eight-month trip through South America. Cheers to Walter Salles, the Brazilian director of 1998's Central Station, for keeping the focus intimate and thrillingly immediate.

A good part of the film's power is the way it sneaks up on you. The boys are sniffing out adventure, not an odyssey that will change their lives. For starters, they're riding Alberto's junk bike, a 1939 Norton 500 he calls the Mighty One. Salles gets terrific comic mileage out of the bike, especially when it breaks down and forces the guys to hitchhike or journey on foot.

It's the slowing of the trip that gives Ernesto and Alberto a chance to observe the starving workers and the politically oppressed they encounter in Chile, Peru and Venezuela. Whenever possible, Salles shot in the actual locations, letting us see what the protagonists saw, including the remnants of the Incan culture in Machu Picchu.

The actors meet the film's challenges every step of the way. De la Serna finds the humor and the messy humanity in Alberto, who joined Ernesto in Cuba and makes an appearance, at age eighty-two, in the film's coda. The Mexican Bernal, far from the erotic romp of Y Tu Mama Tambien, gives a breakthrough performance, playing Ernesto like a gathering storm. (P. Travers, Rolling Stone)

To see a trailer and read a review, visit InternationalFilmSeries.com.

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

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