The young Che Guevara's political awakening on a road trip through South America

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Latin Lessons

DIRECTED BY Walter Salles

STARRING Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo de la Sema, Mia Maestro

Opens August 27, Cert 12A, 126 mins

In easy rider, peter fonda and Dennis Hopper “went looking for America and couldn’t find it anywhere”. After seeing Walter Salles’ cool, sub-equatorial odyssey The Motorcycle Diaries, you’ll think they didn’t look far enough.

It’s 1952, and Ernesto Guevara de la Serna is a 23-year-old medical student embarking on a road trip up the very spine of South America, from Argentina through Chile, Peru and Venezuela. His bike: a 1939 Norton 500 christened La Poderosa II?”The Mighty One”. Also aboard: his hale and hearty pal Alberto Granado. Together, they’re all set for the journey of a lifetime… assuming they can get out of Buenos Aires in one piece.

The Motorcycle Diaries arrives courtesy of Robert Redford, whose company owned the rights to Guevara’s memoir, and FilmFour, which financed it. And in director Salles and star Bernal we have two of the brightest talents to have emerged from the South American movie industry.

It was Salles who insisted that the movie be made in Spanish, saving us from the prospect of Josh Hartnett and Ashton Kutcher connecting with the compa