The Motorcycle Diaries

September 24th, 2004


The Motorcycle Diaries

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Still of Rodrigo De la Serna and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle DiariesStill of Rodrigo De la Serna and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle DiariesRobert Redford at event of The Motorcycle DiariesStill of Rodrigo De la Serna and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle DiariesStill of Rodrigo De la Serna in The Motorcycle DiariesStill of Rodrigo De la Serna in The Motorcycle Diaries

The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life's calling.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 7.8/10 (48,689 voted)

Critic's Score: 75/100

Director: Walter Salles

Stars: Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo De la Serna, Mercedes Morán

In 1952, twenty-three year old medical student Ernesto Guevara de la Serna - Fuser to his friends and later better known as 'Ernesto Che Guevara' - one semester away from graduation, decides to postpone his last semester to accompany his twenty-nine year old biochemist friend 'Alberto Granado' - Mial to his friends - on his four month, 8,000 km long dream motorcycle trip throughout South America starting from their home in Buenos Aires. Their quest is to see things they've only read about in books about the continent on which they live, and to finish that quest on Alberto's thirtieth birthday on the other side of the continent in the Guajira Peninsula in Venezuela. Not all on this trip goes according to their rough plan due to a broken down motorbike, a continual lack of money (they often stretching the truth to gain the favor of a variety of strangers to help them)...

Writers: Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, Alberto Granado

Gael García Bernal - Ernesto Guevara de la Serna
Rodrigo De la Serna - Alberto Granado
Mercedes Morán - Celia de la Serna (Argentina)
Jean Pierre Noher - Ernesto Guevara Lynch (Argentina) (as Jean-Pierre Noher)
Lucas Oro - Roberto Guevara (Argentina)
Marina Glezer - Celita Guevara (Argentina)
Sofia Bertolotto - Ana María Guevara (Argentina) (as Sofía Bertolotto)
Franco Solazzi - Juan Martín Guevara (Argentina)
Ricardo Díaz Mourelle - Uncle Jorge (Argentina) (as Ricardo Diaz Mourelle)
Sergio Boris - Young Traveler (Argentina)
Daniel Cargieman - Young Traveler (Argentina) (as Daniel Kargieman)
Diego Giorzi - Rodolfo (Argentina)
Facundo Espinosa - Tomás Granado (Argentina)
Matias Gomez - Kid (Argentina) (as Matías Gómez)
Diego Treu - Kid (Argentina)

Taglines: Before he changed the world the world changed him


Official Website: Official Site | Pandasia Entertainment [Taiwan] |

Release Date: 24 September 2004

Filming Locations: Argentina

Opening Weekend: €547,393 (Italy) (23 May 2004) (210 Screens)

Gross: $16,756,372 (USA) (13 February 2005)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The movie counts the kilometers traveled from Buenos Aires. In the book, Guevara starts counting from Alberto Granado's home in Córdoba, 600 kilometers from Buenos Aires.

Crew or equipment visible: When Ernesto and Alberto fall off the motorcycle while dodging cows, the motorcycle slides. If you look closely, you can see a rope or cable pulling it.

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna: What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land.

User Review

Bias is downfall of this movie

Rating: 9/10

I would not consider myself to be an ultra liberal, but I am somewhat knowledgeable about what has been going on in South America for the last 100 years, and Che Guevara is a part of it. Going into this movie all I knew about him was that he is on a lot of t-shirts, and that "che", despite what ignorant people think, is not his name, it is what Argentinians say to each other like in the US saying "dude".

I am also a big fan of the purity of movies, not this Spider-man crap that is all over the place, but the true art of films, and I am fairly serious when I go into a movie for the first time. A part of this is that I watch the movie throwing all bias I might have out the window and watch it as if I had never heard of it before. That said, I believe this movie was excellent because it had superb cinematography of the beauty of South America, had excellent acting, great chemistry between the two main actors (despite Ebert saying they did not), and an overall political theme.

This movie did not get great reviews in the US, and I haven't seen reviews from Latin American countries, but I am guessing they are better. This is because many people either shied away from the movie once they heard the word Che, and if they did see it, through the whole movie they were probably thinking "commie, commie!".

I have since read up on Che Guevara, and he is actually a fascinating person to study because he began as a rich boy who through his journeys learned how much people were suffering beyond his imagination, and part of this was how he got to be so rich, by suppressing the native people. The movie does an excellent job of showing this transition from his carefree exploring until later having an epiphany about his destiny to help the people. Yes, he got extreme after a while, but the study of him is compelling nonetheless.

It is interesting to know that coffee and bananas that say "Guatemala" are still grown today by slave laborers on farms, and that the US does not mind the slave labor because they were the ones who sponsored a coup in 1951 to install a dictatorship that in history books says it was an ousting of communism, which makes it okay. This is a much bigger and important example than the movie, but it is the same bias involved: People in the United States (I don't say America because that refers to every country from Argentina to Canada, not just the US as people in this country like to think) not only don't care about the suffering of people in other countries (unless it's mentioned on Oprah or involves economic rewards) but have the nerve to call them evil when they try to better themselves, which at the time was the communist movement in South America. This is not the communism of Castro or even of the later Che Guevara, but simply to give more to the starving and suppressed that are today suppressed to make your bananas and Starbucks coffee.

Because of the biases people have towards the people of countries they know nothing about, this movie has been extremely underrated in the wake of films that comparatively suck ("Ray", way overrated) yet have been rewarded because of their popularity and appeasement to the ignorant people that attend theaters in the United States.


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