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