Alex Massie

The Che Chronicles

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How many people really think of Che Guevara as a romantic, if occasionally headstrong, revolutionary? Outside Latin America, I mean. Perhaps it's a generational thing, but does anyone under the age of 35 really give even half a damn about Che Guevara?

Certainly, the anti-Che forces continue to write as though he remained a clear, present, danger to all things good and holy. Here's John J Miller at The Corner, for instance:

I have no objection to a movie about the life of Che Guevara. At least in theory. Yet it's probably impossible for Hollywood to make an honest film about this awful man — case in point being the new one from director Steven Soderbergh and starring Benicio Del Toro. Even the NYT sees the problem clearly, based on a screening at Cannes...The best news is that the movie is apparently four and a half hours long and in Spanish, which doesn't sound like a recipe for box-office magic. But think about it: The film is twice as long as a movie that's already bordering on too long, and it just skips over the part of Che's life (when he was serving in Castro's government) that contains some of the most difficult episodes for his hagiographers to explain away. What's next? A miniseries on Osama bin Laden that passes over 9/11?

Right... It;s getting to the stage that anti-Che (and anti-Castro) rhetoric is becoming just as tiresome as their hagiographers' simple-minded nonsense. Memo to the 1960s and its survivors: get over yourselves...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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