Chevolution – A documentary on the iconography of Che Guevara

Tribeca Review: Chevolution

Director: Luis Lopez, Trisha Ziff

Genre: Documentary

Date: 20 September 2011

Where: oDD Cafe, Shop 1, 116 Greenway Greenside.

Call: 011 4863631 for bookings

Even if you don’t have any idea who Che Guevara is, you probably know what he looks like. His face has graced everything from t-shirts to bikinis to cigarette packs to beer. You know he’s a symbol of … something. But you’re just not quite sure what.

So, who is Che Guevara? And how did that picture of him become so damned famous? Those questions, and other issues, are addressed in the excellent documentary Chevolution, which debuted at Tribeca on Friday.

In the documentary, producer/director Trisha Ziff and director Luis Lopez explore the Che phenomenon from all angles, including the revolutionary’s early life, his fateful encounter with Castro, the Cuban revolution he helped make happen, to his life trying to foment revolutions in other countries. But it also examines how he crossed paths with photographer Alberto Korda, the fashion photographer/photojournalist who took the famous picture of Guevara that was the basis for the icon we know today.


The story of Che, Korda, and the photograph that started it all is told via archival footage and photographs, some light narration, and interviews with people from all walks of life. We hear from some of the people who traveled with Guevara in South America, where he was a medical student who saw the suffering of the poor and wanted to do something to help them. They also speak to some of the photographers who, along with Korda, documented Che’s rise to power after the revolution he and Castro began in Cuba was a success. They also speak to Korda’s daughter, Diana Diaz, who’s protecting the legacy of her father’s most famous work, Jon Lee Anderson, a biographer of Che’s life, and a range of people who have been influenced by Che, positively (Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, for instance), negatively (Cubans who hate what Che stands for), and everything in between. more……


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