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January 11, 2013

Screening and Discussion: El Che

4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. End Time
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. | Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State

New York Times review summary: This movie is a profile of Latin American guerilla leader Ernesto Guevara, revered by his supporters around the globe as "El Che." Born in 1928 in Argentina, Guevara believed that revolution was necessary to free Latin American people from oppression. An ally of Fidel Castro, he served in the Cuban government from 1961 to 1965. He left Cuba to join the cause of revolution in Bolivia, where he was killed by the Bolivian army in 1967. El Che's story is told with archival films and photographs, as well as commentary by historians.

Professor, author, and curator Albert Michaels, professor of history and social studies education, presents an overview of Guevara's life. First presented at the Latin American Center at the University of California at Los Angeles, Michaels traces Che's life including his struggles driven by the downward mobility of his once aristocratic family and his battle with severe asthma. What Michaels reveals is a framework of a frustrated, energetic, and courageous non-conformist, whose early cynicism turned to optimism, but whose utopian views were impossible to carry out. The admiration that Michaels, a conservative, has for Guevara is genuine as he states: “Unlike most leftists, Che was willing to die for what he believed in and was looking to an alternative world view stirred to replace the material with the moral.”

Professor Albert Michaels, Ph.D., is an associate curator at the Burchfield Penney Art Center and a member of the history and honors faculties at Buffalo State. He is a specialist on twentieth-century Latin American history, U.S. foreign policy and Western New York historical art. He has written many books and articles including “The Mexican Revolution 1910-1940,” “Sandinista Mischief,” and “The Media as an Adversary Culture,” and helped produce and write the introduction to Classic Buffalo." He taught for many years at the University of Buffalo, where he received the Milton Plesur Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Michaels was in Bolivia in 1967–the same time as Che Guevara.

Open to: everyone