Hollywood's sick Che cult

Mary Anastasia O'Grady:

Hollywood hotshot Benicio Del Toro is not a stand-up comic, but he seemed to be playing one earlier this month when he said he found the role of Cuban Revolution hero Ernesto Guevara, in the new film "Che," like Jesus Christ.

"Only Jesus would turn the other cheek. Che wouldn't," Mr. Del Toro explained. Right. And Bernie Madoff is Mother Teresa, only she wasn't into fraud.

With next month marking the 50th anniversary of the Castro dictatorship, it's no surprise that the film industry is trying to cash in by celebrating pop-culture icon Guevara. As one of Fidel Castro's lieutenants in the Sierra Maestra and a Castro enforcer in the years following the rebel victory, his name is synonymous with the Cuban Revolution.

Interesting films are hard to come by these days and "Che" is a good example of the problem. Rebel glamour sells T-shirts and coffee mugs so why not another airbrushed rerun of Guevara's life? Or, more precisely, some mythical version of it, sanitized for the mass market. Meanwhile the real marvel of the past 50 years in Cuba -- the steady stream of heroic nonconformists who have risked all in their aspiration to think, speak and act freely -- remains the untold epic of our time.

If Mr. Del Toro's "Christ" comment is foolish, it's nothing compared to film director Steven Soderbergh's explanation of why we should care about Che. Bad things happen in society when "you make profit the point of everything," the movie director told Politico.com. Che's "dream of a classless society, a society that isn't built on the profit motive, is still relevant. The arguments still going on are about his methodology."


I think we should honor Soderbergh's commitment to Che by avoiding his work so he does not screw up and make a profit on this film. Anyone ignorant enough to think there is something worthy about the life of a murderous thug like Che does not deserve to make a profit.

You have to wonder why it is so important for the current Cuban government to trade with a place like the US where people are interested in profits. I suspect it is because Castro's deadbeat government will make sure the Americans are never paid for their goods and service.


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