With his bifurcated status as Hollywood powerhouse and indie maverick, there are few directors besides Steven Soderbergh with both the creative chops and the stubborn drive to make a film like Che. A more mainstream director would feel forced to smooth the political edges, and a more resolutely indie director might be tempted to make a retro-propaganda film about Che Guevara, all fluttering flags and poster-ready stalwart revolutionaries sweeping the capitalists from power.
To his credit, Soderbergh doesn’t fall into either of these traps with Che. But he also never figures out a convincing third path to follow. The resulting film is an uneasy mix of war procedural and unabashed hero worship, something like a guerrilla take (both in the artistic and military sense) on Patton…
Che is now playing around the country, both together and as two films. You can read the full review in this week’s “The Screener” column at PopMatters.