Submitted by admin on Wed, 05/08/2024 - 08:26
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present the next entry in our Anniversary Classics Abroad series, the biopic drama of the early years of Ernesto Che Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries (2004). The Academy Award-winning film by director Walter Salles (Central Station) will play for one show only on Wednesday, May 15 at 7:00 pm at five Laemmle locations: Claremont, Encino, Glendale, Newhall, and West L.A. In addition to the Oscar for Best Song, “Al Otro Lado Del Rio,” the film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay by playwright Jose Rivera, based on Guevara's memoir.


The film recounts the 1952 road trip by 23-year-old medical student Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (Gael Garcia Bernal) and his friend Alberto Granada (Roberto de la Serna) in a more than four-month, 8,700-mile journey across South America, initially by motorcycle. Originally intended as an adventure for fun and frolic, the two friends are exposed to indigenous peoples and cultural differences they had never experienced. These encounters plant the seeds of radicalization that would manifest as Guevara later emerged as a Marxist guerrilla leader and revolutionary, becoming a global countercultural symbol upon his murder at the age of thirty-nine.

The film is a notable combination of road movie travelogue and coming-of-age drama, beautifully captured by the lustrous cinematography of Eric Gautier as their odyssey traverses the South American continent. Critics of the day responded to this approach with due appreciation. Carla Meyer of the San Francisco Chronicle called it “a superb film about a physical and spiritual journey taken by a young Che Guevara, whose encounters with the unknown alter and affirm a life.” Peter Travers in Rolling Stone said, “in this wild ride of a movie that is part epic poem and part political provocation, it’s the man who holds the screen as a portent of history.”

"Quietly exhilarating, soulful and sincerely romantic." ~ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

"It's about the gradual awakening into awareness, the graduation from carefree youth to responsible adulthood." ~ Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"An involving, lyrical, and visually beautiful cinematic bildungsroman." ~ Glenn Kenny, Premiere Magazine

"Whether you want to see The Motorcycle Diaries as entirely a personal story or as social and political allegory, it captures a far different and far more vulnerable Ernesto Guevara than the one we think we know." ~  Andrew O'Hehir,
"What Bernal and this well-wrought movie convey so well is the charisma that would soon become a part of human history and, yes, T-shirts." ~ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"You get so caught up in the beauty of the images, and lost in the weathered faces found along the way, you quite forget that you're traveling with Che Guevara -- which is, of course, exactly what the original experience would be." ~ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Revisits Guevara's 8,000-mile tour of South America -- and the origins of his personal revolution -- with humor, exquisite compassion and visual grace." ~ Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle
"It's got poetry to it -- the poetry of humanity." ~ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Reaches back to the past to suggest that life is full of turning points, some of which we recognize and some we don't, and that, in a dangerous world, youth and friendship are to be treasured because, like life, they can pass so quickly." ~ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"If I was moved despite my ingrained skepticism about Ché Guevara and Castro's Cuba, you probably will be too." ~ Andrew Sarris, Observer
Coming attractions in the Anniversary Classics Series include Dead Poets Society (May 22), From Russia With Love (May 28), The LoversRed DesertA Sunday in the Country, and the Three Colors trilogy: RedWhite, and Blue, among others.