Diarios de Motocicleta (2004)

As my middle name is Ché, I have a soft spot in my heart for Ernesto "Ché" Guevera de la Serna. This film is based on his diaries from a trip around South America in his early twenties. Ernesto was nearly finished his medical degree when he embarked onto a motorcycle with his older buddy Alberto Granado.

The journey is one of molding and transformation for the future revolutionary. He witnesses the hardship of the indigenous and marginalized. He learns the importance of organizing and unifying the people of Latin America. And probably the most important, he learns to love people.

The film itself is a gorgeous tapestry of mountain ranges, fields, rivers, cities and inhabitants. It is difficult not to fall in love with the continent when you meet the friendly (though some are crustier than others) and rugged people of the south. The scenes are accompanied by perhaps one of the most beautiful soundtracks I have ever heard - a blend of traditional acoustic guitars and bluesy electric guitars.

Also striking is the authenticity of everything. Real lepers and non-actor Peruvians take an active role in defining the story. The two main characters' dialogue is rife with profanity and tenderness. We get a sense that we too can be transformed if we step out and take a look around and are simply honest with ourselves and others.

Official Site | IMDB

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