Above image: Benicio del Toro in Che
Few historical figures have remained as polarizing as Che Guevara, the Argentine Marxist revolutionary, leftist anti-imperialist, thoughtful intellectual, and eventual martyr. On film, h’s been played by the likes of Benicio del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal, and his Motorcycle Diaries remains perhaps the paradigm blueprint for modern iconoclasm.
A leader of the Cuban Revolution, he is held up, understandably, as a towering hero. Yet many consider him a ruthless murderer. Much depends on one’s political point of view.
Che, of course, was executed by the Bolivian army in 1967, aged just 39. Fifty years later, his younger brother Juan Martin Guevara has written a book, Che, My Brother, which will be released May 22 by Polity Press. It includes the previously untold personal story of what the iconic radical was like growing up, a fascinating glimpse into his early family life – attempting to uncover the man behind the incredible mythology.
Watch this interview with the author, which aired this week on BBC Newsnight.