Del Toro walks out on a Che debate

After creating a probably heavily romantcized version of the life of the blood-thirsty-tyrranical asshole that is Che Guevara, Benicio Del Toro faced a heated questioning of one of Guevara's victims, to which he couldn't respond, and ended up walking out because "the questions made him uncomfortable". Here is a beautiful part of the article:

Mr. del Toro doesn't deny that Guevara's persona had some darker aspects. "We have to omit a lot of stuff about his life," he said, "but we're not omitting the fact that he's for capital punishment, which is the essence of that."

In the movie, Guevara is shown executing a man. But the man is executed for raping a child, not for being disloyal to the cause of revolution. Troops are offered a chance to desert, and get nothing more than a scolding for their cowardice.

Mr. Valladares is less convinced of Guevara's dedication to due process.

"Che Guevara executed dozens and dozens of people who never once stood trial and were never declared guilty," he said. "In his own words, he said the following: 'At the smallest of doubt we must execute.' And that's what he did at the Sierra Maestra and the prison of Las Cabanas."

"They didn't do it blindly; they had trials," Mr. del Toro said. "They found them guilty, and they executed them – that's capital punishment."

But Mr. Radosh said it wasn't as simple as that.

"Huber Matos was guilty of nothing," he said. Mr. Matos was a commandant under Fidel Castro, one of the revolutionary's earliest followers and a fervent enemy of the Batista regime. But he was no communist, and when he saw where the country was headed, he wanted out.

"He didn't even want to go into opposition," said Mr. Radosh. "He simply said, 'I don't like the direction of the government, I don't want to be part of the government, I'll voluntarily relinquish my command.' He was convicted of treason, and after a sham trial that Fidel presided over, was sent to prison for a 25- to 30-year sentence."

Guevara was instrumental in the creation of Cuba's forced labor camps, which were used to imprison and extract work from those who had committed no crimes but were thought to be insufficiently revolutionary.

The policy of extrajudicial imprisonment that Guevara favored would later expand to include political activists of all stripes, musicians, artists, homosexuals and others deemed to be dangerous to the maintenance of the Stalinist regime.

Mr. del Toro grew agitated when these prisons were described as "concentration camps," a phrase that Mr. Valladares freely employs.

"I'm a survivor of those concentration camps. And I stand firm by my belief that they were concentration camps," he said. "The forced labor camps where I also worked, where dozens and dozens of political prisoners were murdered, where thousands were tortured, that's something that even the most ardent believers in Castro´s tyranny can't deny."

Critics of "Che" have suggested that the film whitewashes its protagonist's legacy and that it's impossible to understand the man by glorifying his more romantic aspects while ignoring his darker side.

"We can't cover it all," Mr. del Toro said. "You can make your own movie. You know? You can make your own movie. And let's see. Do the research."

Did you?

Comments

  1. Sad. :(

    As an actor, I’ve always liked Del Toro, but this puts his ability to see thorugh an issue and discern the negative aspects from the positive in another light…! This is critique that all actors (and other celebrities) who choose to make political statements must face – I’m afraid mr. Del Toro is gonna come out of this affair at least slightly tarnished…!

  2. difficult not to believe to sancta Klaus anymore !!!!

    if being an actor ment “intelligent”, then we should alredy be on Uranus

  3. dunno why are you hating on el doctor! you’ve gotta crack a few eggs when making an omelet. PLEASE put me in my place and name me a single revolutionary that does not have blood on his hands other than DR KING! granted CHE was a twisted maniacal commy, but he had heart and believed in his nutty cause, something us secular arabs lack, and thats why the towel headed beardos are whooping our asses!

    and don’t name any AYRAB as we have never had a single revolutionary!

  4. oh yeah and gandhi…

  5. oh yeah and said revolutionary can’t be a religious figure!

  6. hamdi:

    The french aren’t exactly cheering Robespierre or Saint-Just, both “revolutionary heroes”…

    Also, many revolutions end up in a society much worse than the one they initially wanted to overthrow. Can this be said of Cuba? To a certain degree, yes, detracting further from Che’s already spotted reputation. Who cares if he thought he was in the right? His methods were brutal and his ideals were as deplorable as the ones he fought.

  7. “Mr. Valladares is less convinced of Guevara’s dedication to due process.”

    That’s one beautiful understatement ;-)

    On the subject, though – what the heck do they want from Del Toro? I mean, with all due respect, his is not to reason why after all.

  8. Snoopy: The man DOES have the option of passing on the role, particularly after having read the script…! ;)

  9. “name me a single revolutionary that does not have blood on his hands”

    That, in a nutshell, is why revolutions are a bad thing.

  10. Marie Claude says:

    Adam, But the Frenchs wouldn’ like to return to the before the revolution statu quo, when idle nobles hold all the strings and properties

  11. MC, Probably not, but think of how long time it took for France to get to a level that was actually better than before the revolution…! And in any case, I just meant to point out that revolutionaries don’t have to be idolized just because a revolution may have been in order… :)

  12. Marie Claude says:

    uh, about the Napoleon wars :lol:

    don’t forget that Louis XVI was bankrupted, for financing those bloody american revolutionaries !!!! and there were some climate “catatrophes” such frost and dilluvian rainings that ruined the crops, that made the genuine spirit of the enlighteneds failed to contain a starving mob and their aftermaths, the nobles then searched alliances among the european royalties, aimed to raise an army and invade France to help them to recover their power, the results : the french population hold that like a betray, and “terror” ensued

  13. Hamdi; George Washington? Ben Frankliin? Thomas Jefferson?

  14. Che is to Cuba what Menachem Begin is to Israel or was it Mosh Dayan!!?

  15. George Washington? Ben Frankliin? Thomas Jefferson?

    in my book the holy trinity—BUT—they do have blood on their hands, Hessian soldiers.

  16. “some darker aspects”

    That has the be the understatement of the century! I truely hate that the younger generations seem to be being taught a romantic revision of history because it makes them much more likely not to recognize when it begins to repeat itself as it always does unfortunately.

  17. More like what Hamas is to the palestinians: Claim they fight for a better society, but all they do is tyrannize everyone that disagrees with them, while setting back civilization by a millenia…

    Come to think of it… He’s to Cuba what Sand Ape is to informed discussions!!! :D

  18. ” CHE was a twisted maniacal commy, but he had heart and believed in his nutty cause,”

    By that logic we should be romanticizing Hitler.

    Che was cowardly fleck of chicken shit and a murderer, just like his mentor Fidel. The story of him executing the 14 year old revolutionary for stealing some food should have been the main theme of the movie. I’ll never see or rent it.

  19. Richard Neva says:

    If you don’t like Che you all must love Bush and I bet you are sad as hell he is gone. This entire site is a waste!

  20. Richard, like Bush’s methods or not, at least he was trying to create the foundations for democracy (aka a better world) where none had been before – the same can’t be said of Che…

  21. The putrid worm just can’t get me out of his head — you gotta luv it — I know I am!!

  22. Adam,

    In case you haven’t figured it out yet Dairy Boy!

    You are ignored due to the abject intellectual poverty and incoherency you are displaying which makes it time for me to move on although I have enjoyed it immensely.

    I realize that I have really flustered you into some major self denial and you hate the fact that I am pushing all your buttons while all you can do is deny it and do absolutely nothing about it.

    Also due to the simple fact that I have severely insulted your mother, father, family, country, views, sexuality, mentality, debating styles and your verbal excrement in short bursts!.

    Keep reading this every time you post to me or about me, because that’s all you are going to get out of me!

    Have fun you stale Danish!

  23. Sand Ape, are you still that thrilled about your newly found copy/paste abilities…? :D

  24. BUTTERBOY!!!

    Adam,

    ASS-WIPE!!

    In case you haven’t figured it out yet Dairy Boy!

    You are ignored due to the abject intellectual poverty and incoherency you are displaying which makes it time for me to move on although I have enjoyed it immensely.

    I realize that I have really flustered you into some major self denial and you hate the fact that I am pushing all your buttons while all you can do is deny it and do absolutely nothing about it.

    Also due to the simple fact that I have severely insulted your mother, father, family, country, views, sexuality, mentality, debating styles and your verbal excrement in short bursts!.

    Keep reading this every time you post to me or about me, because that’s all you are going to get out of me!

    Have fun you stale Danish!

  25. Sand Ape, you really enjoy the attention, don’t you?

    …and the chance to brag with your copy/paste skills, of course!

  26. Adam,
    In case you haven’t figured it out yet Dairy Boy! (Cow bell added)
    You are ignored and will not be engaged in any dialogue due to the abject intellectual poverty and incoherency you are displaying which makes it time for me to move on although I have enjoyed it immensely.
    I realize that I have really flustered you into some major self denial and you hate the fact that I am pushing all your buttons while all you can do is deny it and do absolutely nothing about it.
    Also due to the simple fact that I have severely insulted your mother, father, family, country, views, sexuality, mentality, debating styles and your verbal excrement in short bursts!.
    Keep reading this every time you post to me or about me, because that’s all you are going to get out of me!
    Have fun you stale Danish!

  27. Marie Claude: “Adam, But the Frenchs wouldn’ like to return to the before the revolution statu quo, when idle nobles hold all the strings and properties”

    The French could have made the transition peacefully like the British, rather than butchering their neighbors for no reason by the thousands in a Reign of Terror.

    The French Revolution occurred not because the aristocracy was too powerful but because it was too weak, just like most revolutions happen. Many nobles were land-rich but cash-poor. Others were just poor in everything but titles. The rise of the bourgeosie in class made many merchants rich. There was quite a social transformation occuring in that many poor nobles were seeking to marry off their children to those of rich merchants so as to restore their fortunes.

    While the revolutionaries made stirring rhetoric about storming the Bastille, there were only a handful of prisoners in it, all of them reprobates, like the Marquis de Sade, who deserved to be there. And the aristocracy certainly had more regard for their subjects than to make a spectacle of executing them in public to intimidate the people.

    I’m sure the ordinary French citizen would prefer a loose rule by weak aristocracy than be plunged into an informer society where any neighbor with a grudge could have him or her sent to the guillotine.