Two Thumbs Way Down for Che


Over at Slate, Paul Berman gives two thumbs way down for the new Che Guevara film, The Motorcycle Diaries:

I wonder if people who stand up to cheer a hagiography of Che Guevara, as the Sundance [Film Festival] audience did, will ever give a damn about the oppressed people of Cuba--will ever lift a finger on behalf of the Cuban liberals and dissidents. It's easy in the world of film to make a movie about Che, but who among that cheering audience is going to make a movie about Raul Rivero?

Che, Berman notes, "was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster….Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction….Che presided over the Cuban Revolution's first firing squads. He founded Cuba's "labor camp" system--the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims."

Whole thing here.

But he sure cut a good-looking figure--good enough, noted Cynthia Grenier in her Reason commentary on Che's African diaries, that Mike Tyson even got a tattoo of the guy on his ribcage. Read all about it here.

More Reason on Cuba:

Havana Hustle
Cuba's New Socialist Man learns to wheel and deal