12/02/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Soderbergh's "Che": Masterwork Or Folly?

Charging across the globe like an insurrectionist guerrilla cadre, Steven Soderbergh's sprawling, Spanish-language epic "Che" has been playing at international film festivals and leaving controversy in its wake. The film depicts Argentine doctor turned international revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara ( Benicio Del Toro) as a hard-nosed idealist, a dreamer with military discipline.

Both in its contentious content -- Guevara is a hero to some and a scoundrel to others -- and its demanding form, the film is a direct challenge to audiences. Depending on who you ask, "Che" is either Soderbergh's greatest masterwork or his grandest folly.

"I hoped that there would be discussion," said Soderbergh of the divisive response the film has received. "If you've made something that doesn't get people going in one direction or another, then you've probably made a mistake.

"It's not a typical biographical film. That's not what I was interested in making. I knew the approach was going to be one that some people would really take to and some people would be angered by. And that's fine."

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