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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Che inspires students 41 years after death

     Ingrid Sam, an undeclared freshman, responds to the question What does it mean to be a revolutionary? last night at Gallagher Theater before a showing of the film The Motorcycle Diaries, a depiction of the early life of Che Guevera.
    Ingrid Sam, an undeclared freshman, responds to the question ‘What does it mean to be a revolutionary?’ last night at Gallagher Theater before a showing of the film ‘The Motorcycle Diaries,’ a depiction of the early life of Che Guevera.

    The words of visionaries, activists and revolutionaries decorated the walls of the Gallagher Theater Wednesday to celebrate the 41-year anniversary of the assassination of Ernesto “”Che”” Guevara, with a screening of the film, “”The Motorcycle Diaries.””

    The film recounts the pre-revolutionary years of Guevara and was based from the memoirs of the same name as well as his motorcycle companion Alberto Granada.

    “”Che was killed on October 9, 1967. We are using this day to celebrate his life,”” said Jessica Risco, adviser at the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership and organizer of the film screening. “”My hope is that it will inspire people to think about what it means to be a revolutionary and what sort of revolutions we need to see in our society today.””

    Before the film began, Risco posted questions and quotes on the walls of Gallagher. Students gathered to read the quotes, which included some by Martin Luther King Jr., Abbie Hoffman, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, John Lennon and, of course, Guevara. Next to the quotes and images were questions that probed the ideas and definitions of revolutionary.

    “”What does it mean to be a revolutionary?”” Risco asked the group of students. “”Who inspires you to be a revolutionary? How can you inspire others to create a revolution in their daily lives?””

    One student wrote anonymously, “”Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions; to be a revolutionary you must stand up for the oppressed and stand up for what you believe in.””

    Nutritional sciences senior Alan Cordero agreed.

    “”To be a revolutionary doesn’t mean you have to do something major . . . You have to cause change from the norm. It doesn’t even have to be good or be positive, it just has to be a change.””

    The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, detailed the early life of Guevara and Granada while they both pursued medical degrees and traveled more than 7,000 miles across the South American continent. Although the film is about Guevara, it omits details about his revolutionary actions in Cuba or Bolivia. It does, however, touch upon his social interactions with poverty across South America that most likely led to his actions later in life.

    “”That movie was awesome,”” Cordero said. “”It was inspirational and I felt a connection to it. I like their sense of adventure and their willingness to go out and do anything.””

    In addition to celebrating Guevara’s death, the film was screened concurrently with Hispanic Heritage month, which lasts until Oct. 23. Though the film is not Hispanic in its origins, it is still a way to celebrate cultures outside of the U.S., said Risco.

    “”Aside of Che’s death, the movie will be screened along with Hispanic Heritage month. This film can be important for issues of border and immigration and it’s education to people,”” said Risco.

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