Young Che's journey

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German title Young Che's journey
Original title Diarios de motocicleta
Country of production USA , Germany , UK , Argentina , Chile , Peru , Brazil
original language Spanish
Publishing year 2004
length 120 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Walter Salles
script José Rivera
Che Guevara
Alberto Granado
production Michael Nozik
Edgard Tenenbaum
Karen Tenkhoff
music Jorge Drexler
Gustavo Santaolalla
camera Eric Gautier
cut Daniel Rezende

The journey of young Che (original title: Diarios de motocicleta ) is a feature film by the Brazilian director Walter Salles from 2004 . The multi-award-winning road movie is based on the recordings of a trip to South America by the young Che Guevara and Alberto Granado . The main roles were played by Gael García Bernal and Rodrigo de la Serna .


The 23-year-old Ernesto "Fuser" Guevara is a medical student in Buenos Aires and in 1952, when he had only one semester left to graduate, went on a journey with his 29-year-old friend Alberto Granado, a biochemistry student the northern tip of the continent of South America. You begin the nine-month journey on the “Poderosa II” ( the Almighty ) motorcycle , a Norton Model 18 . First, they both visit Guevara's girlfriend, a young woman from the upper class. Here it becomes clear that Guevara is not yet ready for a relationship. Both cross Chile and manage to continue the journey there without any means of payment. When the motorcycle refuses to work, they continue on foot, by boat and hitchhiking. As Granado tries to have as many amorous adventures as possible, Ernesto becomes increasingly thoughtful. He is particularly impressed by the misery of the indigenous people. Both will witness the circumstances under which the workers at the Chuquicamata mine are being exploited. In Peru they visit Machu Picchu and Cuzco . They meet Hugo Pesce, a doctor who helps them continue the journey. Eventually they arrive at the San Pablo leper colony in Peru. This is on the Amazon and both work there for a while. Ernesto's dislike of the Catholic Church and the division into upper and lower classes is particularly evident here. Venezuela is the last stop on the trip. Granado and Guevara split up. In the epilogue we learn that the two only saw each other eight years later. When Che finally became a prominent figure in Castro's government, he convinced Granado to go to Cuba. Che is fighting in Africa and Bolivia and is murdered there with the help of the CIA . In the final shot you see an old Granado watching the arrival of Guevara's body in Cuba in 1997. In the credits you can see original photos of the trip.


The film holds a positive rate of 84% on the Rottentomatoes website based on 154 reviews

"Road movie about the search of young people for their place in life, inspired by real experiences, filmed in beguiling landscapes and an emotionally gripping staging that ensures that you look at it with almost the same" naive "eyes as the later revolutionary leader Che Guevara similar form discovered the misery of the continent that still exists today. "

“Because this thin film is really not about anything, not even about adventure. He gets stuck on the casualness of travel memories and can only very rarely and then clumsily combine them with a 'historical dimension' acquired afterwards. Obviously the director and his prominent co-producer Robert Redford were terrified of history and politics. "

- Diedrich Diederichsen : The time

“The film is [...] a successful, gentle political commentary on the situation in South America and uses the mythical potential of the historical figure who, like no other, has called for the unity of the continent and fought for it. The German title, Die Reise des Junge Che, is misleading. The political aspect of the film is not conveyed through the character of Che Guevara, but through the presentation of the peoples of South America and their living conditions. "

- Meike Stolp :


Young Che's journey took part in the 2004 Cannes Film Festival in the competition for the Palme d' Or, but had to admit defeat to Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 . Nevertheless, the film received awards in Cannes; Éric Gautier won the technology prize for his camera work for Die Reise des Junge Che and Clean , and the film itself was awarded the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the François Chalais Prize. The film was also screened with great success at other film festivals , including the Bangkok International Film Festival , the Norwegian International Film Festival and the San Sebastián International Film Festival .

The film was nominated ten times for the awards ceremony of the Argentine Film Critics Association in 2005 and won in three categories, Best Actor (Rodrigo de la Serna), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Music . The film received the Goya in the category Best Adapted Screenplay . The film was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay . Jorge Drexler won the Oscar for his song Al otro lado del río , which was the first Spanish-language song to win the Oscar. At the Independent Spirit Awards , Rodrigo de la Serna won for Best Acting Debut and Éric Gautier for Best Cinematography .

Young Che's Journey received nominations in seven categories at the British Academy Film Awards . It was awarded for best non-English language film and for best music . For the French film award César the movie was a Best Foreign Film nomination but could not against Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation prevail. The film fared similarly at the European Film Awards for Best Non-European Film and at the Golden Globe as Best Foreign Language Film .


The journey lasted a total of eight months and stretched over 14,000 kilometers. It led through Argentina , Chile , Peru , Colombia to Venezuela . The most important stops included Buenos Aires , Miramar (Buenos Aires), Villa Gesell , San Martín de los Andes , Lago Frías ( Río Negro province ), Patagonia , Lake Nahuel Huapi , Temuco , Los Angeles, Chile , Valparaíso , Atacama , Chuquicamata , Cuzco , Machu Picchu , Lima , the San Pablo leper colony, Leticia and Caracas .

According to the newspaper The Observer , shortly after the film was shown, there was a demand from tourists to visit the route.

Those responsible for tourism in Argentina, Bolivia and Cuba stated that they wanted to identify the route accordingly.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. On Rotentomatoes
  2. Diedrich Diederichsen: Nice, nice, nice . In: The time . Issue 45/2004, February 2, 2009.
  3. Meike Stolp: Review . In: . October 28, 2004.
  4. ^ Che leads Holiday Revolution in South America by Gemma Bowes, The Observer , September 19, 2004