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Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

The Motorcycle Diaries (Spanish: Diarios de motocicleta) is a 2004 biopic about the journey and written memoir of the 23-year-old Ernesto Guevara, who would several years later become internationally known as the iconic Marxist guerrilla commander and revolutionary Che Guevara. The film recounts the 1952 expedition, initially by motorcycle, across South America by Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado. As the adventure, initially centered around youthful hedonism, unfolds, Guevara discovers himself transformed by his observations on the life of the impoverished indigenous peasantry. Through the characters they encounter on their continental trek, Guevara and Granado witness firsthand the injustices that the destitute face and are exposed to people and social classes they would have never encountered otherwise. To their surprise, the road presents to them both a genuine and captivating picture of Latin American identity. As a result, the trip also plants the initial seed of cognitive dissonance and radicalization within Guevara, who ostensibly would later view armed revolution as a way to challenge the continent's endemic economic inequalities.

Lesson Guides and Classroom Activities

Motorcycle Diaries Lesson Plan

Grade Levels: 9–12
Subject Area(s): Spanish, Social Studies
This lesson guide can be used to accompany the film Motorcycle Diaries and includes a word search, map, lyrics and cloze passages, story map, guiding questions and a summative project.

Lesson Plans

PDF Motorcycle Diaries Lesson Plan

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