O DOCUMENTÁRIO COMO TESTEMUNHA OCULAR DA HISTÓRIA – Em “A Guerra Necessária”, Santiago Álvarez revela os meandros da Revolução Cubana de 1959 [#CinephiliaCompulsiva]

Sem dúvida, Santiago Álvarez (1919-1998, foto acima) realizou um dos documentários que mais nos iluminam sobre a Revolução Cubana, suas raízes e seus frutos, em “A Guerra Necessária” (1980, 110 min, assista na íntegra). Também é um dos melhores filmes para se debater, com conhecimento de causa, a vida e o legado, a teoria e a práxis, do recém-falecido Fidel Castro.

Neste filme estamos diante de um cinema verdade daquele tipo que descortina um dos horizontes mais quintessenciais que os documentários vêm explorando através da história do cinema: a exploração crítica e investigativa do passado como ele de fato foi. Assim, o documentário transcende a esfera do cinema – deixa de ser mero gênero grudados aos trilhos, ao grid, de uma esfera artística específica – e ascende à outra dimensão, onde documentaristas podem realizar obra de mérito filosófico, sociológico, psicológico, antropológico, científico. No caso de Álvarez e A Guerra Necessária, torna-se explícita a potencialidade deste tipo de filme em tornar-se documento histórico, testemunha de uma época.

Não é à toa, afinal, esta similaridade entre os termos “documento” e “documentário”, como lembra Guy Gauthier em O Documentário – Um Outro Cinema. Esta oposição, antiquíssima mas incontornável, entre filmes de ficção (invenção) e documentários (registro do real), parece continuar impondo-se, a despeito de seu binarismo tão tosco e das inúmeras subversões que os cineastas já operaram com estes artificiosos limites. Se a linha vermelha que separa o cinema ficcional do cinema documental for rígida demais, só conseguiremos enquadrar, em um dois lados, um filme como Ladrões de Bicicleta, de Vittorio de Sica, amputando-lhe algo de essencial.

O documentário, pactuando com a representação do real, sem mentira nem distorsão – ao contrário do cinema de ficção e sua fábrica hipnótica de sonhos, seu desfile de vedetes e efeitos especiais – coloca-se no campo da história, eis uma das lições de Santiago Alvaréz. Ele aponta para um cinema que é força política no palco de uma história que transcende os limites estreitos da história do cinema ou da história da arte. O documentário tangencia as áreas do jornalismo, da dramaturgia, do memorialismo, mas também às vezes compreende-se como força histórica. Pois relembrar, celebrar um legado, refletir sobre um passado, é essencial para o futuro de qualquer povo – e os chilenos não teriam razão em parar de aprender com A Batalha do Chile de Guzmán com o pretexto de que aquilo só retrata “velharias”. Os melhores documentários têm interesse perene – e Guzmán, Álvarez, León Hizsmann, dentre tantos outros, estão entre os latinoamericanos que o fizeram com maestria mais extraordinária.

Álvarez legou-nos um autêntico documentário-documento histórico que nos dá acesso aos labirintos das lutas de transformação social em Cuba, atingindo seu ápice revolucionário com o triunfo do Movimento 26 de Julho, de guerrilha na Sierra Maestra à tomada do poder para construção de um novo regime socialista. Emprestando seu título de um manifesto do herói e mártir da independência cubana, José Martí (http://bit.ly/2gx9Ebj), que em 1895 defendia a impossibilidade de conquistar a autonomia e a autodeterminação para o povo de Cuba por meios pacíficos, o filme já começa com Fidel Castro, nas praias de Santiago, discursando sobre os porquês da escolha da via guerrilheira como forma de confrontar a ditadura militar de Fulgencio Batista.

Fidel Castro (centro), Raul Castro (primeiro à esquerda) e outros rebeldes do assalto ao Quartel de Moncada postos em liberdade, em maio de 1955.

Fidel Castro (centro), Raul Castro (primeiro à esquerda) e outros rebeldes do assalto ao Quartel de Moncada postos em liberdade, em maio de 1955.

É um filme com denso conteúdo histórico e em que sublinha-se a importância determinante, para os rumos do Movimento 26 de Julho, de outros líderes latino-americanos como Emiliano Zapata e Simon Bolívar.  

Em 26 de Julho de 1953, o jovem advogado Fidel Castro e 165 companheiros tentam a tomada do quartel de Moncada, em Santiago, no intento de armar a população e derrubar o regime sanguinário e pró-imperialista de Batista. Aprisionado, Fidel defende-se com um discurso destinado à celebridade: “A História Me Absolverá”.

Dois anos depois, anistiado, exila-se no México. O filme de Álvarez tem como um de seus méritos maiores mostrar o México insurgente, o México anti-imperialista, o México da revolução de Zapata, o México que desfila nas obras de Diego Rivera, como determinante influência na determinação dos rumos do movimento libertário cubano.

"O Camponês Oprimido", obra do artista mexicano Diego Rivera (1886 - 1937)

“O Camponês Oprimido”, obra do artista mexicano Diego Rivera (1886 – 1937)


É no México que se encontram pela primeira vez Fidel, exilado, e o médico argentino Ernesto Guevara De La Serna. É no México que a conspiração para a tomada do poder em Cuba começa a ganhar corpo e asseclas não só nas figuras de Fidel e Che, mas também em Camilo Cienfugos, Raul Castro e tantos outros camaradas menos célebres. É também em solo mexicano que adquire-se o iate Granma (Vovó), destinado a status mítico, no qual 83 homens viajarão rumo à Sierra Maestra em Dezembro de 1956.

O filme pode ser visto como uma espécie de “prolegômenos de uma revolução”, mas é também uma reflexão, digna da atenção de cientistas e filósofos políticos, acerca do tema da “necessidade histórica”, em que a guerrilha anti-imperialista aparece como inevitável e incontornável resposta aos horrores e opressões impostos pelas garras impiedosas do imperialismo.

Santiago Alvaréz honra Fidel Castro com um retrato à altura de sua estatura histórica ao conectá-lo a seu herói maior, José Martí, “apóstolo da nossa independência”. Quando a Revolução triunfar em 1 de Janeiro de 1959, será após ter seguido o rastro dos passos de Martí: o Granma, em 1956, desembarca nas mesmas praias de Santiago que a expedição de Martí atingira em 1895, um lugar que Fidel celebra como “sagrado”, tanto pelo sangue dos combatentes ali tombados, quanto por ter sido uma espécie de portal de entrada para a reconquista da pátria, vendida e prostituída ao poderio de oligarcas e imperialistas.

Assistir a este crucial documentário de Álvarez só fortalece a impressão de que não se inventam melhores amanhãs, jamais, no desconhecimento daqueles camaradas que, nos ontens da História, levantaram-se e encararam fatais perigos para sua coletiva construção. E levante construtivo de melhores amanhãs não ocorre sem rebeldia e insurreição, táticas ou métodos necessários para a derrubada da opressão institucionalizada, da tirania convertida em cotidiano. “O pensamento de Martí e a espada de Bolívar hão de cintilar outra vez na América”, diz a certo ponto Fidel Castro. Dito e feito.

FILE - In this Jan. 1959 file photo, Cuba's leader Fidel Castro addresses a crowd in a park in front of the presidential palace in Havana, Cuba. Former President Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory in Cuba, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century rule, has died at age 90. The bearded revolutionary, who survived a crippling U.S. trade embargo as well as dozens, possibly hundreds, of assassination plots, died eight years after ill health forced him to formally hand power over to his younger brother Raul, who announced his death late Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, on state television (AP Photo/Harold Valentine, File)

Janeiro de 1959: Fidel Castro dirige-se ao povo em frente ao palácio presidencial em Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Harold Valentine, File)

Os lumes da História, reacesos pela coragem do presente, inventam caminhos menos sanguinolentos para a construção de comunas mais fraternais e justas, onde os povos possam auto-determinar-se ao invés de ter sua liberdade confiscada e mutilada por um Império mandão e praticante de mortificante opressão. O documentário de Alvaréz revela-se, assim, muito mais que crônica, reportagem ou registro histórico: é inspiração perene para a travessia dos que se põe em sintonia – apesar de suas dissonâncias! – para a construção coletiva de um mundo comum mais digno e justo para todos.

ASSISTA:

E.C.M. – 2017


SIGA VIAGEM:

JOSÉ MARTÍ (1853-1895): Vislumbres da vida e obra desta estrela-guia libertária na luta latinoamericana contra os jugos opressores

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PEDAGOGIA DA LIBERTAÇÃO: Laços entre as utopias de Paulo Freire e José Martí, professores da desopressão e da construção de um alter-mundo melhor

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OUTRO FILME RECOMENDADO:


ACESSE: “A GUERRA NECESSÁRIA”, de Santiago Alvarez, no MakingOff (inclui torrent e legenda):
http://makingoff.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=28032&hl=%2Bguerra+%2Bnecess%E1ria

SAIBA MAIS: https://acasadevidro.com/2016/11/26/fidel-castro-1926-2016-in-memoriam/

Shaking Hands with Other People’s Pain

Gaza, July 2014

Gaza, July 2014

“Nous n’avons pas toujours assez de force pour supporter les maux d’autrui.” 
LA ROCHEFOUCAULD (1613 – 1680)

Here’s the trouble with solidarity, altruism, compassion, brotherhood and other values we often pay lip service to, while practising them so shabbily: it isn’t always easy or pleasant to join in a common struggle with some human being or community who is suffering a terrible fate. As the French moralist said: “We don’t always have enough strenght to bear other people’s sufferings.” (La Rochefoucauld) Let’s not idealize human beings: egotistical as we so often are, we would rather turn a blind eye to other people’s pains and keep paying attention only to our tiny little selves. Human as I am, when confronted by events that would disturb my peace-of-mind, like these who are flooding the news during the last weeks, my first impulse is to run for cover in the comfort of blissful ignorance. Why should I care if the Israeli army is bombing Gaza to a heap of ruins? Why should I look at the photographs of dead babies, injured women, dismembered elderly? Why shouldn’t I be allowed to choose the easiest path and retreat from these horrible occurrences, refusing to acknowledge their existence? Am I to blame if I’d rather act like an ostrich that hides its head in the sand?

Voltaire (1694 – 1778) once said that “every one is guilty of all the good he did not do”. That sounds to me a much more courageous and demanding statement than the one quoted in the epigraph. La Rochefoucauld’s phrase sounds like someone who uses a personal weakness to justify his choice of indifference. Voltaire wants us to take responsability on our hands and act on behalf of others; doing nothing may be sometimes considered a criminal cumplicity to the perpetrators of oppresion or genocide. La Rochefoucauld’s comment, on the other hand, seems to excuse a behaviour of inaction and voluntary ignorance and lassitude, when we’re confronted with “les maux d’autrui”. Myself, I can’t help but feel some contempt for the attitude of those who don’t give a damn about other people’s miseries and care only about their private little matters. My heart fills with admiration by people like Arundhati Roy or Joe Sacco, Simone Weil or Che Guevara (to mention just a few), highly sensitive and creative persons, who devote their life-works to shaking hands with other people’s pain. And acting in order to diminish human grief in our Samsarian planet (good planets are hard to find). Empathy, methinks, is a praiseworthy virtue, and one of the best definitions of it I know of is by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara: “feeling anguish whenever someone was assassinated, no matter where it was in the world, and of feeling exultation whenever a new banner of liberty was raised somewhere else.”

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Such thoughs have been fermenting in my mind during insomnias and daytime anxieties, as the numbers of injured and dead keep getting higher and higher in Palestine. But let’s not take numbers too seriously and forget the real heartfelt human suffering that numbers tell us nothing about. Let’s not allow our minds become numb with an overdose of tragic numbers. Each number is to be perceived as flesh-and-blood, as sentience and conscience, as beating heart and thinking brain, torn apart by war.

From a safe distance, I follow the news and they tell me a lot about other people’s miseries – “gunshot injuries, broken bones, amputees” (Sacco, pg 30). I feel powerless as I witness this horrors brought to me by Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and the Blogosphere. I feel impelled to do something, even though I know quite well how little difference I can make by sharing Al Jazeera videos, sending to my friends the photos of demonstrations, or writing a post in a tiny little corner of the World Wide Web. A bitter taste of powerlessness and despodency nails me down to the chair as I witness the Zionists’ latest massacres in Gaza. Then I remember Voltaire and he inspires me to decide: the fact that one person can’t do much isn’t a reason to do nothing. If only everyone did this tiny bit, perhaps it would add up to something powerful enough to bring down from their bloody pedestals all these Masters of War?…

palestine-covers

Sitting at home, far from refugee camps, I take a journey aboard Joe Sacco’s compelling graphic novel Palestine. Sacco takes me to see a re-presentation of what he himself has witnessed in Cairo, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza etc. In Sacco’s pages, I see kids  throwing stones against tanks and getting shot at by soldiers armed with M-16s and other hi-tech rifles. My brain fills with some sort of psychic vomit when I picture such scenes. If I had been born in Gaza, if I was a Palestinian kid, wouldn’t I be the one throwing stones against the invading army? Wouldn’t I howl in rage against these grown men in uniform who only speak the language of violence? Which language would I learn to speak, in such an environment, if not the language of precocious rebellious stone-throwing? And if my best friend’s life had been taken away from this world by a bullet in the heart, wouldn’t I be angry enough to, a few years later, join a jihadist group and become a suicide-bomber on the road to glorious martyrdom?

gandhi_-_an_eye_for_an_eye_will_make_the_whole_world_blind_-_quote_large_poster__gn0097Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight for Intifadas, I fear, because no community will accept without resistance the sort of life conditions imposed by Israel in the occupied territories. Too many wounds have stirred too much rage, too much hunger for revenge, for any peace to be something reasonable to expect in the short term. Fuel keeps getting added to the fire of mutual hate. “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”, said the barefoot bald-headed pacifist Mahatmas Gandhi. But neither Zionists nor Jihadists seem to give a damn about Gandhi, especially when the wounds are fresh and the heart screams for vendetta.

I can’t begin to understand how and when all this mess began. I look back into the past, trying to get a grip of the historical roots of the conflict, but History looks like a mad circus of chaotic antagonism. It seems to me that Israel was born as a consequence of one the hugest tragedies of the 20th century – the Holocaust. The Nazi’s III Reich almost wiped-out the Jews from the face of the Earth, and when Hitler’s regime fell in 1945 it was mandatory to find the survivors a Safe Home,  in which they would be protected from ever having to be victims of such a mass-scale massacre. The “ideal” Israel would be a nation for the victims, for the survivors of that “Industry of Death”, to quote Steven Spielberg, which the Nazis set in motion in their collective psychosis of anti-semitism, racism, blind nationalism and totalitarianism.

But an old and un-answered question I’ve got is this: why should the Palestinians pay for the crimes of the Nazis? If Germany, infected by anti-semitic ideologies and imperialism, went on a killing frenzy against the Hebrews, why weren’t the Germans obliged, as the main perpetrators of the Holocaust, to offer some just compensation? Why shouldn’t Germany be made to concede, let’s say, one third of their territory for a Jewish State? Yeah: I see perfectly well that this solution wouldn’t work out. These neighbours, I suspect, wouldn’t live peacefully side-by-side with such monstruous memories of past bloody deeds haunting their coexistence. Despite the fact that Holy Jerusalem is considered a conditio sine que non by Jews: there’s no Israel without it.

Reading about these matters, I also discover, in the works of Joe Sacco and Arundhati Roy, that the plan to create a Jewish state in Palestine pre-dates the II World War. In 1917, the English minister of Foreign Relations, Lord Balfour, signs a Declaration in which the British Empire makes a commitment to create a nation for the Jews in Palestine – a place which, according to a deceitful Zionist slogan, was a “land with no people for a people with no land”. Which, of course, is bollocks. Big time bullshit. At least 700.000 Arabs were living then in this land which the Zionists’s cynicism claimed to be a desert – and promised to them by God himself. But, as Bob Dylan sang in the 60s, “you don’t count the dead when God’s on your side”.

Sacco1 Sacco2 What awes me is also how yesterday’s victims can metamorphose into today’s oppressors. How was it possible that the people who survived the Nazi Holocaust became perpetrators of a new “Palestinian Holocaust”? What Israel is doing in Gaza – bombing schools, hospitals, UN-shelters; killing hundreds of babies, children, women, elderly, civilians… – isn’t this reducing a whole community to a status of Subhumanity? People in Gaza know today how it felt for Jews in Auschwitz to be treated as less-than-human and devoid-of-basic-rights.

One could argue that Jewish experience in Europe was far from sweet and didn’t teach them much about gentleness between different cultures and nations. Pogroms, persecutions, concentration camps, gas chambers – these were some of the tragic cards the Jews were dealt throughout their wandering existence of chronic sufferers. In 1948, when they declared “Independence” and Israel was born, maybe they dreamt of Peace, finally? Anyway, if they did, the Dream has been shattered over and over again, for decades. There was never any peace. Israel is born into war and the nation’s first events, the first steps of this new-born child, have been tough as hell. Israel’s first breath was still sailing in the wind and the country was already dealing with the 1948 invasion from the Arab’s armies. After the defeat of the III Reich – who was supposed to last for a 1.000 years, according to the Nazi’s megalomania, but crumbled apart after 12 years – the Jews wouldn’t be allowed no peaceful retreat into well-deserved tranquility. They still felt endangered, they still feared annihilation, there were still enemies to fight. If they didn’t defend themselves, they feared that the Arabs would drown them all in the Sea.

Sacco3 I would argue that fear and violence often go hand-in-hand: a frightened animal is much more likely to attack than a tranquil, unafraid one. The human animal is also capable of bursting into terrible violence when he’s terribly afraid. When I look back at History’s madness, I see the Jews, after the II World War, trembling with fear and shocked with trauma. They had lost 6 or 7 million to the Nazi’s machinery of mass murder. And yet their survival instinct, their conatus (to speak in Spinozean language), was surely alive and kicking. To survive this tragedy they would need some radical means to establish themselves in some sort of safe spot. They would a massive Police State; one of Earth’s strongest armies; why not some atomic bombs? The U.S. would provide the means for Israel to become a military power whose self-confidence would be boosted by the  possession of weapons of mass destruction. Israel, then, was born like a Bunker State, warmed to the teeth, with one of the world’s most rigid and paranoid Defense Mecanisms of any nation on Earth.

But did they really believe they would build a safe haven in Israel after kicking out almost a million people from their homes in 1948? I’m sorry for my language: I’m quite aware that kicking out is not quite the right word. They did much more than kick out – they burned entire villages, they massacred entire populations, they created a huge mass of refugees, pushed very ungently, at gun point, into Gaza and the West Bank. Israel’s masterminds certainly don’t like this comparison, but this is how it feels to me: just like the Nazis deported the Jews from their homes and pushed them into the trains headed for the concentration camps, the Jews kicked out the Palestinians from their homes and pushed them into Palestine’s open-air concentration camps. Now it’s July 2014 and the world is asking in horror: is Israel applying the Final Solution? Is there anywhere or anyone in Gaza that isn’t a target?

gaza

In the occupied territories, most of what we take for granted as civilization’s basic gifts to citizens simply don’t exist – right now, as you’re reading this, more than 1 million people in Gaza have no access to proper drinking water. Almost no one has access to electricity – especially after the only power plant in Gaza was bombed to ashes in July 29. In Joe Sacco’s book, I discover that, in the Palestinian schools, it’s forbidden by the Israelis to teach history or geography with any book that mentions Palestine – it’s not supposed to exist in the textbooks. Israel would like to erase it from the maps. Is Israel trying to accomplish in fact the lie that has been written in textbooks, that is, “Palestinians don’t exist”?

In a clinic, Joe Sacco meets two doctors who reveal that they see “a lot of respiratory illnesses from bad ventilation and overcrowding, problems related to political and social conditions” (p. 48). Life in Gaza and the West Bank can be quite cruel, unealthy, insecure, always threatned to end precociously. But the web of everyday violence is woven by acts of cruelty not only to people, but also to their means of existence. Joe Sacco draws, for example, a heartbreaking scene with decapitated olive trees, cut off by the Israelis, and then gives voice to the Palestinians’ suffering:

Joe Sacco2

“The olive tree is our main source of living… We use the oild for our food and we buy our clothes with the oil we sell… Here we have nothing else but the trees… The Israelis don’t give people from our village permits to work in Israel… The Israelis know that an olive tree is the same as our sons… It needs many years to grow, six or seven years for a strong tree… Two years ago the israelis cut down 17 of my trees… my father planted those trees… Some of them were 100 years old… They obliged me to cut the trees myself. The soldiers brought me a chainsaw and watched… I was crying… I felt I was killing my son when I cut them down.” (Sacco, pg. 62)

This personal wound may seem tiny, but we need only to multiply it to get a picture of the collective wound inflicted by 120.000 trees up-rooted by the Israelis during the first four years of the Intifada.  Besides the massive bulldozing of trees, Palestian homes were also demolished in great numbers: 1.250 of them were brought down to the ground during the same four first years of the Intifada; in the same period, no less than 90.000 Palestians were arrested and put behind Israeli barbed wire, watched by soldiers with their fingers on the trigger (Sacco, pgs. 69 and 81). All those who dared rise up against Israel were crowded into prisons, put into cages, treated not so differently than the Nazis did with the inmates of Dachau or Auschwitz. One man interviewed by Sacco remember the time he was arrested in an overcrowded tent, “a sort of hell”, “3×4 meters with 21 persons”, in which “the ventilation was very bad, just a coin-sized hole in the door for injecting gas in case of a riot.” (Sacco, pg. 84)

Eduardo Carli de Moraes @ Awestruck Wanderer
Toronto, July 2014

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(TO BE CONTINUED IN ANOTHER POST…)

Recommended reading & viewing:

Che Guevara: Download dos ebooks de 2 grandes biografias (Jon Lee Anderson & Jorge Castañeda) + Paulo Freire & Che + Documentário Chevolution…

che guevara

Ernesto “Che” Guevara (June 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967)

“Che was not only a heroic fighter, but a revolutionary thinker, with a political and moral project and a system of ideas and values for which he fought and gave his life. The philosophy which gave his political and ideological choices their coherence, colour, and taste was a deep revolutionary humanism. For Che, the true Communist, the true revolutionary was one who felt that the great problems of all humanity were his or her personal problems, one who was capable of ‘feeling anguish whenever someone was assassinated, no matter where it was in the world, and of feeling exultation whenever a new banner of liberty was raised somewhere else’. Che’s internationalism – a way of life, a secular faith, a categorical imperative, and a spiritual “nationality” – was the living and concrete expression of this revolutionary Marxist humanism.” — Michael Löwy, author of “The Marxism of Che Guevara: Philosophy, Economics, Revolutionary Warfare”

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SOME OF THE BEST BIOGRAPHIES WRITTEN ABOUT CHE:

che-guevara-a-revolutionary-life-by-jon-lee-andersonChe Guevara: A Revolutionary Life Jon Lee Anderson (2010, Grove Press, 672 pgs) Download e-book (7 mb, epub)

“Acclaimed around the world and a national best-seller, this is the definitive work on Che Guevara, the dashing rebel whose epic dream was to end poverty and injustice in Latin America and the developing world through armed revolution. Jon Lee Anderson’s biography traces Che’s extraordinary life, from his comfortable Argentine upbringing to the battlefields of the Cuban revolution, from the halls of power in Castro’s government to his failed campaign in the Congo and assassination in the Bolivian jungle.Anderson has had unprecedented access to the personal archives maintained by Guevara’s widow and carefully guarded Cuban government documents. He has conducted extensive interviews with Che’s comrades—some of whom speak here for the first time—and with the CIA men and Bolivian officers who hunted him down. Anderson broke the story of where Guevara’s body was buried, which led to the exhumation and state burial of the bones. Many of the details of Che’s life have long been cloaked in secrecy and intrigue. Meticulously researched and full of exclusive information, Che Guevara illuminates as never before this mythic figure who embodied the high-water mark of revolutionary communism as a force in history.”

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Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Jorge G. Castaneda (1998, Vintage, 496 pgs) Download e-book (5 mb, epub)

“By the time he was killed in the jungles of Bolivia, where his body was displayed like a deposed Christ, Ernesto “Che” Guevara had become a synonym for revolution everywhere from Cuba to the barricades of Paris. This extraordinary biography peels aside the veil of the Guevara legend to reveal the charismatic, restless man behind it. Drawing on archival materials from three continents and on interviews with Guevara’s family and associates, Castaneda follows Che from his childhood in the Argentine middle class through the years of pilgrimage that turned him into a committed revolutionary. He examines Guevara’s complex relationship with Fidel Castro, and analyzes the flaws of character that compelled him to leave Cuba and expend his energies, and ultimately his life, in quixotic adventures in the Congo and Bolivia. A masterpiece of scholarship, Compañero is the definitive portrait of a figure who continues to fascinate and inspire the world over.”

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CRITICAL STUDIES:

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Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy of Revolution Peter McLaren (2000, Rowman & Littlefield, 264 pgs) Download e-book (31 mb, pdf)

“Che Guevara is usually perceived as a Romantic model whom we should admire, while pursuing our daily business as usual—the most perverse defense against what Che stood for. What McLaren’s fascinating book demonstrates is that, on the contrary, Che is a model for our times, a figure we should imitate in our struggle against neoliberal global capitalism.” (Slavoj Zizek)

“McLaren’s writing is a brilliant blend of passion, commitment, and critical analysis and insight. It is poetry and prose in an intimate dance that touches, at once, readers’ hearts and minds. This new book, which appeared at the very dawn of the new millennium, is no exception. Indeed, it is probably McLaren’s most important and exciting text to date. It is also one of the most important books on critical education, and thus also education and social justice, to have been written in the twentieth century. Only a ‘Comrade of the heart’ could have written with such ardour, precision, and depth.” (Paula Allman, Education and Social Justice)

“Peter McLaren’s Che Guevara, Paulo Freire is a vigorous intervention in the complexity of the contemporary political situation—from rearticulating the project of radical pedagogy to his argument to reorient the left itself. Through his groundbreaking regrasping of Che’s revolutionary practices,McLaren critiques the left—especially progressive left pedagogy—for its marginalization of class and complacent reformism. In an effective intervention, he puts the international class struggle at the forefront of a revolutionary pedagogy. As part of his argument for the reorganization of social institutions in Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, McLaren offers a sustained radical critique of transnational neoliberalism and its corporatization of education—in doing so, he places revolutionary pedagogy in solidarity with the oppressed of global capitalism.” (Teresa L. Ebert, Author of Ludic Feminism and After)

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DOCUMENTARIES:

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Che

Ernesto “Che” Guevara (June 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967)

“Velha Maria, Vais Morrer” – Um poema do Dr. Ernesto Che Guevara (1928-1967)

VELHA MARIA, VAIS MORRER
(Che Guevara, 1928-1967)
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Velha Maria, vais morrer:
Quero falar contigo seriamente.

Tua vida foi um rosário completo de agonias,
não houve homem amado nem saúde nem dinheiro,
apenas a fome para ser compartilhada.
Mas quero faler-te da tua esperança,
das três diversas esperanças
que tua filha fabricou sem saber como.

Toma esta mão de homem que parece de menino
nas tuas mãos, polidas pelo sabão amarelo.
Abriga teus calos duros e teus nós puros dos dedos
na suave vergonha de minhas mãos de médico.

Escuta, avó proletária:
crê no homem que chega,
crê no futuro que nunca verás.

Não rezes ao deus inclemente
que toda uma vida desmentiu tua esperança;
não peças clemência à morte
para ver crescer tuas pardas carícias;
os céus são surdos e o escuro manda em ti.
Mas terás uma vermelha vingança sobre tudo,
juro pela exata dimensão de meus ideais:
todos os teus netos viverão a aurora.
Morre em paz, velha lutadora.

Vais morrer, velha Maria:
trinta projetos de mortalha
dirão adeus com o olhar
num destes dias em que te vais.

Vais morrer, velha Maria:
ficarão mudas as paredes da sala
quando a morte conjugar-te com a asma
e copularem seu amor na tua garganta.

Essas três carícias construidas de bronze
(a única luz que alivia a tua noite),
esses três netos vestidos de fome
chorarão os nós destes dedos velhos
onde sempre encontravam um sorriso.
E isso será tudo, velha Maria.

Tua vida foi um rosário de magras agonias,
não houve homem amado, saúde, alegria
apenas a fome para ser compartilhada.
Tua vida foi triste, velha Maria.

Quando o anúncio do descanso eterno
suaviza a dor de tuas pupilas
e quando a tua mão de perpétua borralheira
absorve a última e ingênua carícia,
pensas neles… e choras,
pobre velha Maria!

Não, não o faças!
Não rezes ao deus indolente
que toda uma vida desmentiu a tua esperança,
nem peças clemência à morte,
que tua vida foi horrivelmednte vestida de fome
e acaba vestida de asma.

Mas quero anunciar-te,
na voz baixa e viril das esperanças,
a mais vermelha e viril das vinganças.
Quero jurá-lo pela exata
dimensão de meus ideais.

Toma esta mão de homem que parece de menino
nas tuas mãos, polidas pelo sabão amarelo.
Abriga teus calos duros e teus nós puros dos dedos
na suave vergonha de minhas mãos de médico.

Descansa em paz, velha Maria,
descansa em paz, velha lutadora:
todos os teus netos viverão a aurora.
EU JURO!

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