Friday, January 9, 2009

The Che Fallacy: Telling it Like it Is

Because the worlds of journalism, academia and entertainment have failed us, it is left to Cubans and the children of Cubans to tell the world the truth. Today's entry in the "no me lo paso" file comes from Big Hollywood where Joe Lima sets the record straight. Among the more salient passages:

But “Che” fails on a much deeper level. It attempts to depict actual historical events, the effects of which still play out today and affect millions of people. Does the movie tell the truth? It barely even tries. It is in this failure to connect with historic truth that the film sinks from being a mere failure to being an ugly lie.


Pre-Revolutionary Cuba is predictably presented in this film as a screamingly poor, fifth-world country. It seems that every other character is illiterate. People who were there remember it differently, and United Nations statistics from the period tell a different story: Cuba was in fact the fourth most literate country in Latin America. “A people that don’t know how to read and write are an easy people to fool,” scolds Del Toro, index finger in the air. Ironic, that, considering how the Castros have always used the written word to fool people in Cuba and all over the world, via surrogates like Anderson, who blandly parrot the official version of Cuban history. Furthermore, the 100% literacy rate that the Cuban government claims to have accomplished is accompanied by 100% censorship of what Cubans are allowed to read, and of what they are allowed to write. Another digression: statistics say that 28 percent of the State of Louisiana is functionally illiterate today. I’d like to ask Steven Soderbergh, whose father was once Dean of the College of Education at Louisiana State University, if the scandal of illiteracy in Louisiana would justify turning Louisiana into a communist dictatorship, shooting all the cops, and compelling teachers to teach the dictatorship’s version of history. Of course, it wouldn’t. But this is precisely the twisted rationale that the Cuban government uses to justify its now fifty-year stranglehold on power.

Read the whole review here.

1 comment:

Ms Calabaza said...

You mean he's not a saint? I feel like I've been lied to and by golly, I am sad . . .