Both installments of my two-part series of Steven Soderbergh's Che have been published at Mubi:
HISTORY LESSONS (PT. 1): NOTES ON STEVEN SODERBERGH'S "CHE"
HISTORY LESSONS (PT. 2): NOTES ON STEVEN SODERBERGH'S "CHE"
"I think that Che is absolutely not about glorifying Che! I think it's not a biopic and I think it's hardly about Che Guevara. I think it's a movie about strategics. I think it's the one movie I can think of which actually does take the issues of strategy as its core theme. The way I see the film is you have a first part that describes how you win a revolutionary war, how you move from the swamps to the village, from the village to the small town. How you actually do win an urban guerilla battle and how ultimately you win the war and take over the country. And it goes into great detail in explaining the dynamics of it, the logic of it, and why, how and one thing leading to the other, ultimately you win. And then you have a second part, which explains exactly why you do not win because the terrain is not appropriate, because the local population is suspicious, because the legitimate politicians are too conflicted about your struggle, because the enemy has grown stronger."
- Olivier Assayas
"Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man."
"Those of us who decided to work for democracy in Burma made our choice in the conviction that the danger of standing up for basic human rights in a repressive society was preferable to the safety of a quiescent life in servitude."