Che: The Criterion Collection (DVD)

Che was released in 2008, giving viewers a four and a half hour view into popular revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s trials and tribulations. Specifically, it covers about a decade of Guevara’s life, from eir first meeting with Fidel Castro in 1955 until eir death in October of 1967. The Criterion Collection beautifully captures the two parts of this Soderbergh-directed and Del Toro-starred film, while adding an additional disc and booklet to further contextualize the film for all viewers. The first disc contains an illuminating audio commentary that taps Jon Lee Anderson (Guevara expert) to gain some sense of where Soderbergh deviated from reality, while the theatrical trailer is an addition that has not been seen by the majority of individuals who are picking up this title.
The third disc of this box set is where the release really begins to shine, as the sheer amount of materials that are present puts the original release of the film to shame.

Viewers will be show exactly how much work went into crafting a realistic film in :”Making ‘Che’”, while as a history buff, the inclusion of different interviews with individuals that were actually present during Guevara’s revolution. The deleted scenes are just as important as the previous two inclusions, as they do not seem of the quality that should have been left on the cutting room floor – the film would have been stronger if these scenes were just left in.

The piece de resistance in this box set has to be the booklet that is provided that was penned by Amy Taubin. This essay really acts as the glue holding the set together, as it uses a critical eye to both praise and chastise the film. By showcasing some of this sticking points that could be had with the film, I believe that a viewer’s appreciation for Che will only be increased. By having voices present comprising the entirety of the scholarly (and film) discussion about the film, Criterion has created another amazing collection that acts as the end-all, be-all surrounding this film.

Rating: 9.4/10

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