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Le ultime ore del Che

Che - The Last Hours

CHE: THE LAST HOURS

His last diary entry on the night of 7 October, 1967 was: “We stopped at around two in the morning; it was useless to go on.” At this point, the guerrilleros with whom Che Guevara had spent weeks on the run from a specially trained Bolivian military unit, had gone into hiding in a rugged ravine near the Bolivian settlement of La Higuera. Their hiding place becomes a trap, however, when military troops seal off the entire gorge. An exchange of fire leaves Che wounded by a ricocheted shot. Shortly afterwards, the news of Che’s capture is sent to the 8th division and to army headquarters using the words “tenemos papa”, which means, “we’ve got the Pope”. News of the revolutionary figure’s capture was also transmitted on Radio La Paz using the code: “papa cansado” or, “the Pope is tired”.
Thirty-six years on, the memories of those who witnessed Che’s capture are no less faded. In his film, Romano Scavolini reconstructs Che’s final hours before his execution at the place where he was captured. Scavolini finds evidence that the GDR’s Stasi provided a Bolivian military delegation with the crucial information that guerrilleros on the border between Peru and Bolivia were preparing to attack; he also meets a teacher who managed to exchange a few words with Che after his capture. Among the film’s many interviewees is the nurse whose job it was to wash the dead body of Che Guevara before it was displayed in public. The sight of Che’s open eyes still haunts her today, she remembers: “I felt him look directly into my heart. Just like Jesus Christ!”

Italy 2003, 60 min

by

Romano Scavolini

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Adriana Chiesa Enterprises SRL