Watch The Motorcycle Diaries
- 2 hr 6 min
An international co-production, The Motorcycle Diaries details an eight month journey taken by the young revolutionary Che Guevara and his friend, Alberto Grenado across South America. During the movie attempts are made to provide details of how and why Guevara became a Marxist revolutionary after initially setting out on a fun road trip designed to end with a stint as a volunteer at a leper colony in the Peruvian jungle. The Motorcycle Diaries is based on the memoir written by Guevara about his trip and uses Grenado's own memoir as source material. The Motorcycle Diaries begins in 1952 with the traveler's, Ernesto Guevara and Alberto Grenado leaving their family homes in Buenos Aires, Argentina and setting out on a journey to Peru. At the outset of the journey the two men are looking solely for a good time, their aspirations go so far as to meet women and party in different South American countries. Problems with Grenado's Norton 500 motorcycle force the pair to seek refuge in poverty stricken regions of South America before the motorcycle finally gives out and the pair are forced to hitch rides. After the motorcycle breaks down the tone of the movie changes with the images of poverty and social inequality between the peasant's and rich people of South America. By the time the pair finally arrive in the leper colony in Peru Guevara has become a political radical beginning to believe in the Communist manifesto. The colony serves as a metaphor for South America with the staff of the colony and patients separated at the end of the working day by a river that divides the island. After celebrating his birthday Guevara swims across the river and sleeps in a leper building to show his solidarity with the patients. The Motorcycle Diaries was warmly received by critics and won many awards at international film festivals. Brazilian director Walter Sallas and star Gael Garcia Bernal were singled out for particular praise.