In a column in today’s OpinionJournal.com, columnist and blogress Bridget Johnson (this blog’s guest at the Ben Stein dinner Monday night) offers some thoughts on Hollywood’s love affair with Che Guevara, noting that after the success of MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, a movie about the revolutionary’s youth, a number of Che-movies are now in production.
Pondering Che’s appeal, Bridget asks, “What feature films have showed the true nature of communism?” Despite the Oscar-winning 1984 film, “THE KILLING FIELDS” which depicted the brutality and mass executions committed by the Communist Khmer Rouge when they took over Cambodia, few Hollywood movies have shown the horrors of communism. Bridget lists a number of nations which suffered (and one which still suffers) under the yoke of Communism, suggesting that each would be a worthy subject for a film.
As she details the crimes of Che Guevara, Bridget notes, that in films depicting the reality of Communism, he would be one of the villains. His legacy includes, among other things, “both ordering and conducting executions and founding forced labor camps.”
Communism may have been built on a noble vision, but it has found its place on “the ash heap of history” because whenever a Communist regime took over a nation, it impoverished that nation’s citizens when it didn’t imprison or kill them. Under communism, there were long lines for the basic necessities of life, neighbor spied upon neighbor and people could be punished for disagreeing with the government, believing in God, or even for being gay. Bridget think it’s time for Hollywood to explore the real nature of this failed system. I agree. So, read the whole thing!
UPDATE: In the comments, Michael Tinker mentions the 2000 film BEFORE NIGHT FALLS which depicted the persecution of a gay man in Castro’s Cuba, “a Che-state.” For his portrayal of writer, Reinaldo Arenas, Javier Bardem garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com