Magnolia Picks Up Che


It looks like Che has picked up US distribution through Magnolia pictures. We get the scoop from our friend Kristopher Tapley over at InContention:

Lou Lumenick is hearing some rumblings on the “Che” buyer situation in Toronto. From his New York Post blog:

I’m hearing from an exhibition source that Mark Cuban’s Magnolia Pictures has signed to distribute Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” in the United States. The deal is expected to be announced shortly for the two-part biopic of the Argentine guerilla who worked with Fidel Castro starring Benecio del Toro, which premiered to mixed reviews in Cannes. A slightly shorter version — 4 hour 22 minutes total — will be showing at the Toronto and New York Film Festivals. NYFF will be screening “Che” at the 1100-seat Ziegfeld and don’t be surprised if that’s where this epic has a reserved-seat, Academy-qualification run beginning on December 12.

I am interested in seeing this film, but 4 hours and 22 minutes for the “short” version is quite a haul. Because I have interst in the man and his story so I have no problem sitting through an epic length feature; I just wonder how appealing the film will be to the average movie goer. I am going to guess that a film of this length about a communist revolutionary will not be putting many asses in the seats.

That being said, I am pleased that those who have a desire to see this film, will now be able to do so. I can see the film getting a limited release and then getting moved on to DVD land swiftly. I wonder how long the DVD version will be; I suppose we will wait and see.

As a related point of interest – Benicio Del Toro won the Best Actor award at the Cannes film festival for his work in this film.

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5 thoughts on “Magnolia Picks Up Che

  1. “While Che Guevara was a revolutionary Communist he also was a brilliant military strategist.”


    The idea that Che was a brilliant military strategist is an absolute myth. He had a tremendous ego that caused him to present himself as a guerilla leader, but his level of military expertise did not even approach basic competence.


    1. During the Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuba was divided into 3 military areas, with Fidel, Raul, and Che each responsible for controlling the military in one of the sectors. A boat filled with diversionary fireworks was sent ashore in Che’s sector while the invasion proceeded elsewhere. While leading his troops into battle against this unmanned diversion, he mishandled his sidearm shooting himeslf in the jaw.

    2. In Africa, Che so alienated the black guerillas with his condesencion (he generally thought of blacks as Lazy) that they refused to follow him into battle.

    3. In Bolivia, Che’s military incompetence cost him his life. First he had his girlfriend visit him in the “field.” Doing so she left her car suspiciously parked and filled with critical documents. A parking violation handed the Bolivian government much of the intel it needed to begin tracking him. Additionally, he split his “army” into two units, without adequate communication equipment. The two units wandered jungle for months, unable to communicate with each other. Sometimes the units were so close that they mistook each other for Bolivian Special Forces and shot at each other. In Bolivia, Che’s treatment of the locals was so brutal that when the Bolivian Army captured him, they wanted to keep him alive. They knew that they could play on Che’s ego and get him to divulge information that would be useful. But the peasants who had been victimized by Che threatened open revolt, forcing the government to kill him.

    During the Cuban revolution, rebel groups not associated with Fidel or Che did the majority of the fighting. These democratic rebels inflicted the wounds on the corrupt government while Fidel and Che posed for the cameras. Because the democratic rebels had done the fighting, their positions were weakened when Batista fell. Fidel and Che immediately turned on them. The fighters who overthrew Batista were among the first victims of the new regime’s police state.

    The architect of that police state was Ernesto Che Guevera. Che was the one who ran the prison where those critical of Fidel Castro were tortured and murdered. It was Che who began the Cuban policy of persecuting homosexuals, a policy that continues to this day. It was Che who decided that “Roqueros” (those who listened to rock music) should be punished.

    Che was not a brilliant military leader who fought for freedom, he was the assassin of those who actually fought for freedom. I know that’s not the way Che will be portrayed in the upcomming movies. After All, presenting Che as the spoiled rich kid turned violent murderer that he was woudln’t sell popcorn.

  2. While Che Guevara was a revolutionary Communist he also was a brilliant military strategist. I think of him as a Robert E. Lee kind of military mind. That is, while he was on the opposing side, his skill was quite evident. In addition, he didn’t fight for glory or wealth (a la Saddam Hussein), he fought (or at least believed he was) for the freedom of the citizens. If he were still alive, I’m confident he’d be trying to help in Darfur.

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