Giselle Bundchen wears him on her bikini, Johnny Depp wears
him around his neck, and Benicio del Toro becomes him in Steven Soderbergh's by
all accounts fawning four-hour biopic, Che.
Del Toro, who took home best actor honors at Cannes, is already earning Oscar whispers for his performance. But "Che" is only the latest sign of Hollywood's infatuation with Guevara, Castro, and other dictatorial goons (recently, Sean Penn had a cover story in 'The Nation' lamenting unfair media coverage of the tyrannical Cuban and Venezuelan regimes).
This covers the hellholes of totalitarianism through the eyes of Paquito D'Rivera, who left Cuba for artistic freedom and ended up becoming a Grammy Award winning jazz player, and Kai Chen, a former member of the Chinese national basketball team whose relatives were hauled off under Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution. This is a fascinating and troubling foray into Hollywood's shallow and callow appropriation of murderous thugs.
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