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Vol. 9, No. 5, 2010
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
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Nancy Snipper
Sylvain Richard
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In This World
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Born into Brothels
The Edukators
Big Sugar
A Long Walk
An Inconvenient Truth
Sisters In Law
Send a Bullet
Banking on Heaven
Chinese Botanist's Daugher
Ben X
La Zona
The Legacy
Irina Palm
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
Poor Boys Game
Finn's Girl
Leaving the Fold
The Mourning Forest
Beneath the Rooftops of Paris
Before Tomorrow
Paraiso Travel
Necessities of Life
For a Moment of Freedom
Blood River
By the Will of Genghis Kahn
The Concert
Weaving Girl
Latino Cinema

Tristán Bauer's

Tristán Bauer


reviewed by


Nancy Snipper is a film critic at Arts & Opinion. For the 2010 Montreal World Film Festival, she gave Che, Un Hombre Nuevo 3.9 out of 4. For the rest of her ratings, click HERE.


The Montreal World Film Festival has continued to showcase first time directors and seasoned ones within an ambience that is devoid of any pretension. Totally accessible, many of the directors are on hand to discuss their films and their vision, hoping to stimulate, move and enlighten Montreal audiences. From the riveting and tragic to the kinky and hilarious, this festival selects films that shed a dazzling light on cinema and the global lens that travels all continents into 45 countries. The end result is a film that often takes over 10 years to make. The pickings are enormous, and that is why this festival can boast 34 years of longevity -- with many more to come. Wondrous stories and unforgettable characters living within cultural contexts deck the silver screen, shedding light on humanity in ways that are most intriguing. Features, shorts, animation and documentaries -- many entered into award categories -- lend prestige to this home-grown festival that was founded by Serge Losique.

This year, the films were particularly outstanding, and although some -- a meagre amount fell into the forgettable category -- the ones I saw were deliciously stimulating. Below is my review on the latest documentary made on Che Guevara. Directed by Tristán Bauer, this highly committed filmmaker focuses on social issues with unswerving vigour. Born in Argentina -- like Che himself -- Bauer founded Cine Testimonio, a group of socially conscious documentarists. His first films was made in 1991 -- nine years after he graduated from the National Institute of Cinema -- and he hasn't stopped.

"Che, Un Hombre Nuevo" is his fifth film. It is of great importance, for it moves far beyond politics, revealing in intimate details the enigma behind the Che stigma while smashing the sensationalism that continues to stalk one of history's greatest figures. Beloved and despised (depending on which camp you're in), Che would surely have chosen this documentary to settle the score once and for all.


If you think you know everything there is to know about this astounding human being, take a look at this unique film and bear witness to what 12 years of research on Ernesto Guevara (Che) can yield. You will be amazed by the breadth and brilliance of the man himself. His soul was sweet and strong.

The film reveals how Che was always searching for insight into mankind's makeup. Photographing secret manuscripts and documents encased in cabinets at the Bolivian Academy of Military History, Bauer and his dedicated little team unearth the most riveting and revealing aspects of this hero -- that is before the Bolivian government realizes it made a bureaucratic blunder, and instantly locks the room up for good. Nonetheless, three important manuscripts are photographed containing Che's poetic letters of love to his wife, his philosophical writings and his personal literary catalogues of world literature he never ceased to read, even while spending some 16 months in Cuba's Sierra Maestra mountains.

To hear the man's own voice and see him in action is to bear witness to his relentless humility, honesty and unflinching integrity to help others suffering from domination by foreign and local powers. He went deep into dangerous territory all over the world; the film painstakingly documents this with surprising detail. Despite his adventuresome spirit, this often lonely leader had to deal with chronic asthma. He likened it to a relationship that goes through good and bad times. Still, he never wasted a moment in self-pity or frivolity. By helping the oppressed, workers in the fields and factories, the sickly, the poor, children and the elderly, he discovered his true bent: "I am a soldier and a doctor." But, as he evolved, he truly became a model revolutionary oozing charm, compassion and unmistakable humanity while still exercising consistency, leadership and maintaining a sense of humour. A poet, philosopher and care giver, he took his skills around the world, helping fighters from other countries overthrow megalomaniacal leaders whose self-interest deprived the common man of the means to eat and work.

From South Vietnam and Angola to Russia, China and so many other nations, including the USA, Che imposes his political wisdom into the hearts and minds of those present, regardless of hostility. This lengthy film illustrates the beautiful heart inside the child-like dreams that possessed Che.

Ernesto Guevara -- his real name -- never swerved from his absolute belief in man's desire to be free and kind to others. His mission was that of trying to set into place governments that would facilitate man’s longing for liberty. He believed in the common man; his mission involved trudging for some 18 years through jungle, mud, rivers and swamps with his own men and locals -- strangers following his side in the hopes of unshackling their lives from dreadful injustices.

There are so many memorable events that Che created for others, and through this remarkable film, we come to know them, and the man a little better. One can't help but honour this hero. At 39, Che was murdered, yet the British photographer who came to Bolivia to take pictures of his bullet-ridden body attests to the fact that a brilliant light emanated from his lifeless body. Indeed the photo shows his magnificent eyes. They appear so loving and full of wonder. How tragic that they will never see again. Give peace a chance was his mission, and although many did not nor still do not agree with his methods, the film, through Che's compassionate speeches, explains how the leader justifies the necessity of violence in specific circumstances. The world lost a beautiful spirit, and this film will go a long way in persuading you to see him as such.

For the ratings of 2010 Montreal World Film Festvial, HERE.

For the ratings of 2009 Montreal World Film Festvial, HERE.

For the ratings of 2008 Montreal World Film Festvial, HERE.

For the ratings of 2007 Montreal World Film Festvial, HERE.
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