Tedious "Traveling With Che Guevara" has what sounds like a very good idea, following the late revolutionary's surviving friend Alberto Granado as he retraces the route around Latin America they'd taken as youths in 1952. But TV documentarian Gianni Mina's casts himself and Granado as camp followers to the filming of Walter Salles' dramatization of the two men's trip, "The Motorcycle Diaries."

Tedious “Traveling With Che Guevara” has what sounds like a very good idea, following the late revolutionary’s surviving friend Alberto Granado as he retraces the route around Latin America they’d taken as youths in 1952. But TV documentarian Gianni Mina’s worshipful, undiscriminating odyssey casts himself and Granado as camp followers to the filming of Walter Salles’ dramatization of the two men’s trip, “The Motorcycle Diaries.” Result is a glorified DVD extra strictly for “Motorcycle Diaries’ ” most devoted fans and diehard collectors of all-things-Che-related.

Eighty-one-year-old Granado — who ended up following his younger pal to Cuba and staying there as a medical professional — is spry and endlessly delighted by the opportunity to revisit travels popularly mythologized in the half-century since. But his comments on the re-enactments he witnesses seldom amount to more than variations on, “Yes, that’s how it was”; fresh anecdotes are few. Nor do Salles or thesps Gael Garcia Bernal and Rodrigo De la Serna have much to add beyond predictable expressions of awe toward their role models. Much time is wasted simply watching Granado watch scenes being shot — material even duller than it sounds. Tech aspects are mediocre.

Traveling with Che Guevara

Italy

Production

A GME Prods. and Surf Film production. Produced by Massimo Vigliar. Executive producer, Loredana Macchietti. Directed by Gianni Mina.

Crew

Camera (color, digiBeta), Roberto Girometti; editor, Domenico Ciaprini. Reviewed at San Francisco Latino Film Festival, Nov. 5, 2005. Running time: 121 MIN.

With

Alberto Granado, Rodrigo De la Serna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Walter Salles, Pablo Ramos, Mercedes Moran, Jean-Pierre Noher, Ricardo Diaz Mourelle, Zoraida Boluarte, Tio Pesce, German Tejerin Sieres, Guillermo Lucero.
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