[Marxism] Del Toro: To Interpret Che Made Me Respect Him More

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 8 09:33:53 MST 2008

The film opens in Los Angeles and New York ONLY on Friday December 12
in a special "Roadshow Edition" in which both films are shown together.
Directer Steven Soderbergh will attend at least one of the openings in
New York. Star Benicio Del Toro will attend two of the openings here in
Los Angeles. Three weeks later the film will open in regular release in
many cities, the two films will be shown separately, in other words, a
separate admission will also be charged. Rightist militants picketed
the movie in Miami, without having seen it, of course. And the beat
goes on. The MIAMI HERALD claims the film was panned in Havana, but
the audience gave it a standing ovation.

Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California



Del Toro: To Interpret Che Made Me Respect Him More


Havana, Dec 8 (Prensa Latina) Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro
affirmed here that after interpreting Argentine-Cuban guerrilla
Ernesto Che Guevara increased his respect for him as historic figure
and consistent man.

The first time I heard talk about Che I was 11 years old in a song of
the Rolling Stones. After I interpreted him I learned a lot, he
stressed in a press conference at the Taganana Hall of the Hotel
Nacional, venue of the 30th New Latin America Film Festival.

Del Toro expressed his desire that the film contributes to promote
Che´s personality in the United States. It is very important to keep
widening mental horizons, he said.

I also believe that from the government of new president Barack
Obama, a dialogue can be established between both countries.

The Oscar laureate for Traffic (2001) described as sensational to
have premiered in Cuba the films where it all began. Our dream, he
said, was to finísh and screen it here. Now the cycle has closed.

Answering a question of how would the Argentine-Cuban guerrilla would
think today, he said maybe he would be a different person.

We are living moments unthinkable for his time, he said. He put the
example o fan indigenous president governing Bolivia now and an
Afro-American the United States.

At the time that was a dream, the actor said and added there are
still things that have not changad in other parts of the world and in
Latin America.

Brazilian Rodrigo Santero, in the role of Raul Castro, said he
traveled to the island last year and for two months he looked for
advine, he toured the Sierra Maestra mountains and had access to the
diary of the current Cuban president. For me it was an enormous
responsibility and fills me with pride, commented Santiago Cabrera,
who incarnated Camilo Cienfuegos, he told that in order to personify
him he read and studied for a long time. I remember to have arrived
home with a lot of books, he said.

Producer Alvaro Longoria, of Morena Films, announced the films will
premiere in the US on January 8 next year and presented Cuba with 20
copies for their screening. "The Argentinean" and "Guerrilla" were
screened twice the past weekend, as part of the Film Festival program
and outside in the theater Kart Marx of Havana.

ef may ag

Benicio del Toro as "Che" Captivates Havana


HAVANA TIMES, Dec. 8.- Hundreds of films from around the world are being shown
at the 30th Havana Film Festival, but the one that took Cuba's capital by storm
was "Che", a four-hour two-part film by US director Steven Soderbergh staring
Benicio del Toro as the revolutionary icon.

An estimated 4,000 Cubans saw "Che" over the weekend in its first two showings
as a non-competing part of the Festival that brings out masses of Cuban movie
buffs and draws visitors from around the world.

Speaking at a press conference Sunday in Havana flanked by the film cast,
Benicio del Toro spoke in favor of rapprochement between the US and Cuba saying,
"I hope this film will help somewhat in their understanding each other better."

Del Toro expressed his hope that relations could improve when Barack Obama takes
office. He noted that some things have changed today with an indigenous
president of Bolivia and an African-American about to enter the White House.

The Puerto Rican actor said that playing the role of Ernesto "Che" Guevara gave
him new incite and appreciation into the struggles of the historic figure.

Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro, who played Cuba's current President Raul Castro
in the film, said he studied with historians for two months to take on his role
and visited the Sierra Maestra Mountains in eastern Cuba to familiarize himself
with the terrain of the guerrilla struggle against the Batista dictatorship. "It
was a tremendous responsibility and I'm very proud of it," said Santoro, well
known in Cuba for his roles in popular Brazilian soap operas.

Del Toro added, "The dream was to finish the film and show it to the Cuban
audience." He said he very moved by the positive response. "We reached the
finish line."

Producer Alvaro Longoria announced at the press conference that the film will
premiere in January in the US and that 20 copies were donated to Cuba for
further exhibition.

The Havana Film Festival continues through Sunday, December 14.

     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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