The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) Script

"This isn't a tale of heroic feats.

It's about two lives running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams." Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, 1952

Goodbye boys, life-long companions Dear old-time gang

The plan:

8000 kilometres in four months.

The method: improvisation.

We've got to be ready for certain things in life...

The goal: to explore a continent we had only known in books. the motorcycle diaries Good night, Granado.

The equipment:

"The Mighty One," an aged, leaky 1 939 Norton 500.

The pilot:

Alberto Granado, chubby, 29, friend and biochemist, self-proclaimed "wandering scientist".

Alberto's dream: to finish the journey on his 30th birthday.

Co-pilot: me, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna. "El Fuser", 23.

Is Ernesto really going?

No, Ernesto is staying.

Ernesto, will you take me with you? Let's go together!

Sorry Dad but the more you tell me...

You're only one semester away from becoming a doctor.

That can wait.

Medical student, specialising in leprosy, Here comes furious Serna!

...amateur rugby player, Kick it!

Nice shot, Fuser!

...and occasional asthmatic.

Date of departure, January 4th.

The route:

Buenos Aires to Patagonia, and then into Chile... then north, 6000 metres up the rugged spine of the Andes to Machu Picchu.

Then, the San Pablo Leper Colony in the Peruvian Amazon.

The final destination: the Guajira Peninsula in Venezuela.

We land on the Guajira Peninsula.

The tip of this grand continent.

Bellies full of wine and two tropical beauties, hopefully sisters...

That beer's good, huh?

ByJanuary 4th you'll have finished your exams, right?

If you'd like, I'll agree to make a little detour, go by Miramar, see your girlfriend.

My girlfriend...

A couple of days.

Check out that guy over there.


Do you want to end up like that?

You don't wanna end up like that, Fuser.

All you want is to get laid in every country in South America.

In every town too, if we're lucky. Adds a little spice.

What we had in common: our restlessness, our impassioned spirits, and a love for the open road.

Come on Ernestito, we don't have all day.

-Isn't this too much stuff? -Just enough.

Norton 500. A real motorcycle.

Don't worry about your son, he'll be well taken care of.


Tough times are ahead.

To tell the truth, I've always dreamt of doing something like this.

I confess that if I were a few years younger I'd climb on that motorcycle with you.

Imagine I'm doing it for both of us.

Ten years, planning this trip, Uncle.

You were a kid...

Meanwhile, I trust you.

So, when's the revolution coming?


-In about a century. -We should learn from the Russians.

-Leaving already? -Yes. I'm off.

The only thing you need to worry about is taking your medicine... and writing to me.

The most beautiful letters you'll ever read, Mum.

-Goodbye, my darling. -You'll see.

Bye, sis! Take care!


-No. -Juan Martín!

-Bye! -Write to me.


Send me postcards.

Enough sentimentality, you're gonna make me cry.

Take care.

So, just like Don Quixote had Rocinante, San Martín had his mule, -we have "The Mighty One." -Yeah, which pees oil.

Yeah, she pees oil. What I'm trying to say is that in this very instant, young Fuser and your servant here, embark on a journey to the farthest reaches of the human spirit, where we will encounter new lands, hear new anthems, eat new fruits...

Granado, I'm holding you responsible. Anything that happens to Ernesto, I'm going to burn you down. Put on the scarf, honey.

Don't worry, ma'am. He'll come back and be the doctor we all want him to be.

It's time to go!

That bike is a good excuse for walking.

So long!

Watch out!

He's crazy!


Careful with that bike!

Dear Mum, Buenos Aires is behind us.

Gone is "this wretched life," the uninspiring lectures, the papers and medical exams.

All of Latin America is ahead of us.

From now on, we only trust in "The Mighty One."

I wish you could see us! We look like outlaws, commanding attention everywhere we go...

Open it up, Mial! Put her into orbit!

-Don't quit on me, Mighty One! -Come on!

-What happened, Mial? -Fucking shit!

I am glad we've left "civilization" behind and are now a bit closer to the land.

What's going on?

We're losing our bags!

Problems! Problems!

Damn! Fucking shit!

-Fuser, are you all right? -Yeah, you?

What's up, little one?

Are you okay?

-What the fuck is that? -What the fuck does it look like?

-A fucking dog! -You're a fucking shitty driver!

Fuck you! What's that fucking dog doing on my bike?

It's for Chichina. His name is "Come-back".

Go on, pick up the bike.

Where the fuck are we, in Switzerland?

-Good day. -Good day.

-Chichina? -She's at the beach with the family.

The bike's not doing so well.

So, Esteban, tell us about your trip.

It was fantastic, Don Horacio.

I had the opportunity to take a seminar in Cambridge and spend a couple of weeks in London, a fascinating city.

-Oh, what a privilege. -Yes. A privilege.

Esteban is about to get his doctorate...

In medicine?

No. In law.

Oh, law...

One, two, three, four. Tango, Fuser!

It's your turn now...

I've never seen a pig who liked to dance. Ever.

-Yeah. -Fuck off.

With this foot, one... back, back...

What are you laughing at?

-What are you laughing at? -You.


Dad asked Aunt Rosana not to let me out of her sight.

And Mum promised the Virgin that she'd walk to her sanctuary... if we break up.

Don't your parents realise that the deeper you bury the diamonds, the more determined the pirate is, to take them?

Believe me, this diamond wouldn't mind being taken.


Look at them.

Check out La Negra!

Let's check out the bathroom.

Good night.

-Good night, girls. -Good night.

-Good night. -Good night.

So, Aunt Rosana, which room do I get?

Get out, Come-back. Scat!

What happened there...?

-Come here. -Don't tickle me!

How long did you say we'd be here?

You know how long.

Two days.

And how long has it been?

Are you gonna use wire in the operating room, too?

Six days, Fuser!

They're going to kill us!

If you stayed we could do many things, Ernesto, but only if you stayed.

-That didn't sound so good. -What do you want to hear?

That I'll wait for you?

I told you I'm coming back.

I have the dog to prove it.

Don't you like him?

What do you want, Ernesto?

What do you want to hear?

That I'll wait forever, that I'll wait months on end for you to return?

-What's up with you? -What do you want?


I'd like for you to stay like this, silent.

I want to look at you. I won't see you for a long time.

I will wait for you, but don't take forever.

Define "forever."

Thin ice, mister!

I won't touch you again.

Oh, no, I hurt you. Did I hurt you?

It's a trick. A really bad one.

Okay, lovebirds, it's time to go.


Take care, Miss Ferreyra.

Thanks for everything.

On the boat I heard the moist slap of bare feet and foresaw faces dark with hunger.

My heart was a pendulum between her and the street.

I don't know what strength broke me free from her eyes, loose from her arms.

She remained clouded by tears, her anguish hidden by the rain.

-Is that Lorca? -No.

-Neruda? -No.


I don't remember.


Wait, wait... there.

I'm getting snot all over this...

So with Chichina - nothing?

Even after you gave her a purebred German shepherd, nothing?

At least tell me you saw one tit. One little tit.

Ah, so you saw her titties then. All right, my man!


American dollars.




That girl's perfect for you. I've always said so: that is Ernesto's girlfriend. No we'll be able to eat like kings.

-No. -A succulent protein-filled meal.

She gave me this money in case we make it to the United States.

She asked me to buy her a bathing suit.

I said I would.


Pretend this money doesn't exist. It's off-limits.

He's testing me... I'm gonna kill him.

Are you talking to the bike again?

What the hell are you thinking? This girl's got you by the balls!

-No... -Fuser!

Don't get all worked up, fatty.

-Hello. -Good afternoon.

How's the bike feel?

It's amazing, you can fix anything with wire.

It's riding better than ever.

Damn it! Fucking shit!

You all right, Fuser?

Damn curve.

Look at the exhaust pipe! Damn it to hell and back!

Get more pegs! I've run out!

Don't bust my balls!

-Just grab it! -You had to choose this spot, asshole!

-You're the one that chose it! -Hold on to that side!

-You hold on to your side first! -Come on!

-I just can't! -Come on!

The ground is wet! What the fuck do you want me to do?

Fucking shit!

No, the river took it!

Get it, get it!

It's gone!

Just take it...

Why don't we go up to that ranch?

With those snobs?

We'll find help down here, among the people, don't you think?


-Should we do the broken headlight thing? -Red October.

-What's Red October? -You have your medical ID, right?

Oh, yeah, yeah.

-Good evening. -Good evening.

What do you want?

It may not look like it, but, well, we're both doctors... from Buenos Aires and Córdoba, respectively.

We are travelling the length and breadth of the country...

Well, he's got one, too.

We're travelling all over doing some research with the hope of curing some of the most terrifying diseases of the 20th century.

Plagues that not only consume our energies but also keep Argentina under total dependence.

As a matter of fact, if you read the medical literature, you'll note, as we have...

What the fuck do you bums want?

Look, sir. The wind took our tent. We're starving and need a place to sleep.

There's a shed out there with a good floor. You can sleep with the migrants.

But we're doctors...

I like your face very much.

Yours, fatty, I don't like.

-It's cool. -It's okay.

Dear Mum.

We're still going strong, though "The Mighty One" isn't so mighty any more.

Money and food are scarce but we've managed to scrounge some free food,

thanks to our secret weapon, Alberto's impeccable bullshitting.

...trying to wipe out some of the most terrifying diseases of the 20th...

-So you two are doctors? -Well, no...

Alberto is a biochemist and I'm in medical school.

He practically has a degree. We're as good as doctors.

Then I'd like you to look at this lump on my neck.

-Mister... -Von Puttkamer.

Does it hurt?

It's a tumour.

What so you mean, a tumour?


-You think so? -Yeah.

-I don't know, Fuser. -I do.

It looks like an adipose deposit, it could be a cyst.

No. It's a tumour.

It's a tumour in the occipital zone, probably of hydatid origin.

Schatzie, these gentlemen say I have a tumour!

No... Good day, ma'am.

Honestly, I don't think it's a tumour, it's a sebaceous cyst.

If you'll give us some food and a place to crash, we may be able to treat you.

No, look, we can't treat you.

Don't worry, you just need to go to Buenos Aires, I can recommend you to a specialist, but...

We could try to help him.

How? With a couple of herbs from their garden? With prayers?

I see, there's nothing you can do for me.

Yes, we can. If you give us food and a place to sleep...

There's a lake full of fish and a tool shed nearby.

Sir, it's a very premature diagnosis.

This conversation is over, doctors.

Let's go, Schatzie.

Work with me next time, okay?

Sure, I'll work with you but not at the expense of a man's health.

Let's suppose you were right, the geezer had a tumour, how the fuck can you just tell him like that? Unbelievable!

It's the truth. If he can't take it, that's his problem.

You made him shit his pants, you can't treat a patient like that.

The guy has a tumour, the sooner he deals with it, the better.

It's the proper treatment, or didn't you learn that in pharmacy school?

Look, you idiot, don't talk to me about proper medicine.

You little nurse. Get your degree, then we'll talk.

Fucking know-it-all.

Let's look for food.

Duck, duck, duck. Give me the gun, man! Come on!

-I got it, man! -Very good!

-How did you do that? -Now we're totally fucked.

Well, there is no choice now but to jump in the lake and get our food.

Fuser, jump in the water and get our food.

You're nuts if you think I'm getting in. Do you have any idea how cold it is?

Yeah. I know you're allergic to the cold, the water, the heat and all that... but you know what? I'm older, wiser, and I did all the shooting.

It was dumb luck! Besides, I have asthma.

Okay, you're right. If you can't, I'll do it.

-I never said "can't." -"Can't," "won't"...

-What's the difference? -I didn't say, "I can't."

Or don't want to, same thing.

Otherwise, give me Chichina's dollars, and we'll feast like kings.

Look, if I get that fucking duck, I'll eat it by myself.

Like a duck to water, quack, quack, quack!

I'm freezing my balls off!

So what? You're not using them.

Come on.

Good, Fuser! Good! Bring that ducky with fries...

Is it cold out there?

Hey! You cold?

I'm not.


Are you feeling shitty?

No, I feel wonderful.




Fuser, listen to me.

Give me Chichina's fifteen dollars and we'll go to a real hospital.

Ask again and I'll vomit on you.

Dear Mum, what do we leave behind when we cross a frontier?

Each moment seems split in two: melancholy for what is left behind, and the excitement of entering a new land.

Look, Mial!



Long live Chile!

-Is it the first time you've left the country? -Yes.

You're practically a man.

Listen, when we're old and tired of travelling, we should come back and set up a clinic on this lake.

-Huh? -Not a bad idea.

We'd treat everybody. If anybody comes out here...

Count me in, brother.

Things are looking up, Fuser.

-Is that snow piling up? -Nah, that's just a little frost, man.

One, two, three...

That's it!

I hope the chain doesn't freeze up because we'll be screwed...

Come on!

Come on! Come on! Come on!

There you go...

Fuck, it's cold.

Nice little summer we're having...

Hey, you said we'd enter Chile like conquerors, -not like a pair of assholes. -If you don't like it, go fuck yourself, Ernesto.

Why don't we dump this thing? It's nothing but trouble.

Oh, yeah? And travel the whole continent on foot, genius?

Yes. We'd see more, meet more people... you could lose a few pounds.

Come on, you queer, with a couple of Chichina's dollars, this is history.

Same old song! Forget the money!

If that's your answer, you go to Venezuela on foot, just leave me the hell alone and take your boss's money.

I could probably make it there in half the time if you'd mind your own business.

You motherfucker!

Ooh, Ernestito, bring me those Yankee panties, from Miami...

Don't you realise you'll never see her wearing them, and she'll never take them off for you, asshole!


You know what your problem is, Fuser? Your fucking honesty.

You could help out with a little lie once in a while.



What are you doing?

What's up?

Come in!

Thank you.

-Maté? -Yes.

-Thank you very much. -No sugar.

-What is your name? -Teresa.

-Teresa. Ernesto. -Nice to meet you.

There, hold it up.

It'll make a nice souvenir.

A souvenir, huh? I'll take it back to Argentina with me.

-Are you travelling? -Yeah, we are.

We're the ones with that beat-up bike out there.

-Oh, that big one over there? -Yeah.

-And what is this? -Mussels.

-And these? These are clams, no? -They're clams.

-Just normal clams? -Clams are always clams.

Maybe next time.

The Austral News! The Austral News for only 3 pesos!

News of Chile and the world, the Austral News!

Just 3 pesos!

News of Chile and the world, the Austral News!

Yesterday afternoon, Temuco was honoured by the arrival of two of the most prestigious leprosy experts in South America.

Dr Alberto Granados from Córdoba...

-What do you mean, "Granados?" -Yeah, that's what it says.

And Dr Ernesto Guevara de la Serna from Buenos Aires, have embarked on an epic journey from their native soil to the northern tip of Venezuela.

The charismatic scientists-adventurers, experts in their field, have treated 3000 patients across the continent.

All right!

They expect to complete their marathon-trek in a record-setting five months, just in time to celebrate the youthful, Dr Granados' 30th birthday.

-It says "youthful." -Yeah, they lied a bit too.

Think it'll work?

Hello. Good afternoon.

My friend and I are having problems with our bike.

The steering is broken, the brakes are shot...

-and the gears are all messed up. -My ass is killing me.

Well, the steering, brakes and gears I can fix... but I'm afraid your ass is out of luck.

And we're broke.

What? You don't have a penny?

We're getting some money in Valparaíso, we'll send it to you then.

I have no disrespect in my heart... but if you have no money, you have no business being here.

Forgive me for interrupting, sir, but if you help us out now, you'd be doing incalculable service to bilateral relations among our countries.

-You expect me to fix it for free? -I don't think we're being clear.

We can't assume everyone will know who's who in the Latin American medical field.

-Doctor, if you will. -Yes, of it so happens... an article came out just today in The Austral...the newspaper.

Allow me.

Look, Piedad.


-The picture isn't very good. -Yeah, it's not very flattering.

It's them.

Gentlemen, it would be an honour to fix your motorcycle.

Thank you very much.

After I finish playing this card game with my wife, of course.

Of course.

Priority number one!

You know, there's a dance at the City Hall tonight... and God willing, all the young girls in town will be there.

That's too bad!

Should I bring the bike in later?

Leave it right here, we'll fix it up for you.

My love, I'm gonna buy... a little plane for us to fly Allow me... during our sweet honeymoon, my love My love, I'm gonna buy... a little train to take a ride during our sweet honeymoon Listen to his voice as he walks on he sings us Chipi Chipi to dance along!

-Chipi Chipi... -Hey...

Learn to dance the rhythm of the Chipi Chipi...

You know, I was just thinking about you...

Yeah? Why?

You made a strong impression on me from the start.


Do you want to dance?

No...I don't dance.

My husband's fallen asleep. He's drunk.

I have no one to dance with.

Well, if you teach me.


You finally remembered you're a man, huh?

Oh, had you forgotten?

I haven't danced for a long time... but it's all coming back.

I can't dance any more.

Do you want to keep dancing?

Wouldn't you like to step out?

-I'd love to. -Yes.

-Yeah, let's go. -Okay, let's go then.

-What's wrong? -Not now!

-Come on, it's okay. -Let me go!

Hey, asshole, the Argentinian is hitting on your wife!

Let me go!

I'm sorry, excuse me!

You motherfucking Argentinian!


I'm gonna get you, you Argentinian son-of-a-bitch!

You Argentinian bastards!

Let's get them!

-Fucking shit! -The chain!

Hit it, hit it!

-Yeah! -Yes!

Faster, faster!

Are you tired?


Do you want to switch?


Are you sure?


-Hit the brakes! -What brakes?

-What do you mean? -The brakes are gone!

Fucking mechanic!

You all right?

I'm great! What do you want me to say, Fuser?

Goddamn mechanic!

Is he your dad?


That cow's going blind.

All she's going to see is shit.

We are 25 days behind schedule.


It is rumoured that Chilean girls are the most daring in the continent.

Rumours have no scientific value, Dr Granado. Time to do some research.

-Don't you like him? -No.

You don't like either of them?

Here they come.

Hi, girls.

Excuse us, but this place is packed.

-Can we join you? -Yes.

-You don't mind? -Thank you.


-Ernesto. -He's Alberto.

-Miss? -Jazmin.

-Daniela. -A pleasure.

A real pleasure.

-Are you two Argentinian? -How'd you know?

Well, because of your accent, because Argentinians always say "che"...

-Had you noticed, che? -Not at all, che.

Do you know what day it is?

February 26.

Sounds unbelievable, but it's been a year.

-A year since what? -One year since we started this trip.

One year, and we're flat broke, we can't even celebrate. What a shame.

Why don't you let us treat you to a bottle of wine?

-Wine? -Wine...


A bottle of wine for our courageous, Argentine visitors.

Girls, don't be offended, but I can't drink wine.

Why couldn't you drink just a bit?

Exactly... There's an old custom in Argentina...

No, please don't.

What is it?

-I think they deserve an explanation. -They do.

Thank you, Lucho.

An old custom in Argentina doesn't allow us to drink on an empty stomach.

Since we're flat broke, we can't buy food and must reject your generous offer. That's it.

Come on, lighten up.


Lucho, could you bring us some empanadas?

-Do you like Chilean empanadas? -I've never tasted Chilean empanadas.

Four? Eight?

Well...they do look hungry.


What a nice number. I've always liked that number.

-Wish we could stay! -Too bad we have nowhere to crash.

We'll sleep out in the park. dad's fond of Argentinians.

-No joke! -Honest. He might be able to help you.

Since Dad's chief of the fire brigade, he knows lots of people.

What? You two are sisters?

Of course.


Can't you tell?

The mechanic won't be in until tomorrow, but the bike can stay right here.

-Thank you very much. -Thank you very much, Sir.

Guys! Cañaco! Come!

I'm going to introduce you to two Argentinian volunteers that will be spending the night here with you.

This is Doctor skinny Che, and this is Doctor chubby Che.

-Pleasure. -Good to meet you.

-Why don't we go take in the town? -Good idea, but...

Don't you worry, sir.

Excuse me. Sorry!


I don't want to bother you, but are you really doctors?

-No. -Yes.

Actually, I'm a biochemist.

Could you come see a sick woman?

-Yes. Whenever you say, just... -Could we do it now?

It's been a long time since she's seen a doctor, she's really in bad shape.

Sure. Let me get my things.

Well, one has to remain faithful to the Hippocratic oath...

-Ernesto. -Moncho.

-Poncho? -Moncho.

Excuse me.

Look me in the eye.

I'm going to touch your neck.

Has she eaten?

I don't know.

Look, Mrs Rosa, I'm going to leave these little pills.

Take one with each meal and one before sleeping.

This will help you feel better.

I knew I was powerless to help her, Mum...

This poor old woman who only a month ago waited tables, wheezing like I do, trying to live with dignity.

In her dying eyes there was a plea for forgiveness and for solace, now vanished, just as her body will soon be lost, in the great mystery that surrounds us.

Fuser, you still haven't asked about the research I did on our Chilean sisters.

You can't imagine how depressed I am that you're the sexual ambassador of Argentina!

It's true.

Are you the clowns that ride that crippled piece of shit?

Her name is "The Mighty One."

Her name was "The Mighty One."

Now she can be baptized "The Deceased," "The Dearly Departed," "The Paraplegic"...

-Really? And why's that? -Why?

Because I am the mechanic.

You could make a buck selling her for scrap. Chile is her last stop.

Gonna miss you, girl.

I'll carry yours today. Come on.

What'll we do? Go on?

Of course.

A man turns 30 only once, right?

You're something else, Ernesto de la Serna...

-I mean, if we spend Chichina's... -Nope! Don't even think it.

Hey! Hey!

He stopped! Come on!

There she is, Valparaíso.

"I love Valparaíso, all you encompass, all you radiate, lover of the ocean, far from..."

-Federico García Lorca. -No!


Thank you.

-From Chichina? -From Chichina. And the money?

-Should I open it? -Go ahead.

I'll leave you lovebirds alone.

I love you so much, Celia de la Serna.

What happened?


-Hey, you ready? -Me?

-Yup. -Of course...

Right away!

You know what?

I liked my plan better, Fuser!

You are such an arrogant bastard. You could at least answer me!

What do you wanna do? Go back?

Go on, go back!

I'll get to the mine and tell you all about it.

Are you saying I can't make it?

If you can, little asthmatic doctor, then I can.

-Just shut up and walk! -Pain in the ass!

Now you wanna beat me?

Stop, goddamn it!

Good afternoon, hi.

I'm Ernesto, good to meet you.


Right there.


We didn't have much, just some tough, dry land.

It belonged to his grandpa.

It was ours. Until a land speculator forced us off.

That's what they call progress.

So we had to leave our son with our family and hit the road, looking for work, trying to escape from the police who want to throw us in jail, Why?

Because we are communists.

Now we're going to a mine.

If we're lucky, I'll find some work.

It's so dangerous, they don't care what party you belong to.

Are you two looking for work?

No, we're not looking for work.


Then why are you travelling?

We traveljust to travel.

Bless you...

Blessed be your travels.

-Here. -Thank you.

-Have a maté. -Thank you.

Their faces were tragic and haunting.

They told us of comrades who had mysteriously disappeared, and were said to be somewhere at the bottom of the sea.

It was one of the coldest nights of my life, but also one which made me feel closer to this strange, for me anyway, human race.


You, too.

You, over there.


Not you! The one next to you!

Move it, move it! Get a move on, guys!

You there, you too. Up there!

Move along!

The one in the back. You, too.

The one up there, you.

Hurry up. Get on the truck.

The rest of you, go home!

Hurry up, move it!

This truck is full...

Hey, come on!

You two! What are you doing here?

-Nothing, just looking. -Looking at what, asshole?

This is not a tourist attraction, get lost!

Don't you see these people are thirsty?

Why don't you give them some water, damn it?

Get out before I call security and have you locked up, asshole.

-What would they? -Why?

Trespassing. This is property of the Anaconda Mining Company.

Watch the door.

You son-of-a-bitch!

As we left Chuquicamata we could feel the world changing or was it us?

The deeper we go in the Andes, the more indigenous people we encounter, who are homeless in their own land.

We finally entered Peru, thanks to a half-blind trucker named Félix.

And guess what? Alberto turned 30, but not in Venezuela as he had planned.

We were so tired, Mum, we couldn't celebrate.


This is not humanly possible.

We finally arrived in Cuzco, "the heart of America."

Our first day in the city we met Don Néstor, an old soul, Mum, and our official guide.

Sir, I wonder, which of these walls is Incan?

This one here is Incan and that one is Spanish.

As a joke we say this wall was made by the Inca, and that wall was made by the In-capables. That's what we call the Spanish.

Curing the Inca period, Cuzco was the capital.

When the Spanish came they started to trash it all, -and made Lima the capital. -Lima?


This belongs to Jesus Christ Inc.

-Are they still in business? -Yes.

Are they still in business...?

She says she never went to school because she was always with the livestock, and that's why she doesn't speak Spanish, only Quechua.

When I was little there was enough, at least I think so, there was enough money to afford everything.

But now I think there is little money, there is no work.

And this is all affecting us, more and more.

From the time I was little I've worked with handicrafts, and, that's why I'm not doing too bad, not too good, just okay.

With both hands.

With both hands, Néstor.

Thank you.


Good afternoon.

I was working for a time... on some land.

And the landlord... kicked me off the land.

I was doing my work and he threw me out.

How'd he throw you out? Did he bring the police?

Yes, he brought the police.

Because he's rich, he's got lots of money.

He wants me to vacate his land, to get out.

Once it was already productive.

Yes, it was producing wheat, corn, potato...all that.

And he kept most of it.

So, I can't live in the past. I have to move, find the money to bring up my kids...

-How many kids do you have? -I've got five.

Have you got organised with other farm workers...

-Yes. -In order to fight back?

Yes. We are organised, we help each other, work our land, we help each other. Very unified.

Ready for the photo, Fuser?

That's it, that's it...

This one's for posterity.

The Incas knew about astronomy, medicine, mathematics among other things, but the Spanish invaders had gunpowder.

What would America look like today if things had been different?

Fuser, here's my idea:

I'll marry an Inca descendant.

We'll start an indigenous party under these conditions: we'd encourage the people to vote, reactivate Tupac Amaru's revolution, the Indo-American revolution, Fuser.

How's that sound?

A revolution without guns?

It would never work, Mial.

How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew?

How can a civilisation that built this... be destroyed to build... this...?

-This isn't it. -No?

Wrong street ?

Mercaderes 52.

Let's ask.

-Calle Mercaderes? -Mercaderes?

Straight ahead for two blocks, turn right and go another six, seven blocks.

This has got to be Mercaderes.

That one is, too.

-Is this Mercaderes? -Yes.

-And that one? -Yes.

We have to count backwards.

-Fuser? -Backwards is 2, 4,...

What? Yeah...

Can I help you?

This is Mariátegui's book. And you must also read César Vallejo.

The best thing about Lima was Dr Hugo Pesce, Director of Peru's leper treatment programme who Alberto contacted before we started out journey.

He gave us clothes, food, money and ideas.

Mariátegui speaks of the revolutionary potential of the natives and farm workers of Latin America.

He says the problem of the Indian is the problem of the land, and that the revolution should not be an imitation.

It should be original and indigenous.

"There are too few of us to be divided," he said, "Everything unites us...

"nothing separates us."

Most of the patients are over here.

Pesce got us a couple of beds in the Guia Hospital, where patients suffering from the early stages of leprosy are treated.

The most critical cases are sent to the San Pablo Leper Colony, in the Amazon.

Zoraida, this is Alberto and Ernesto.

I think we know each other pretty well now...

Let me tell you something.

I look at you, Ernesto, and you, Alberto... and I see great idealism and many doubts.

That's why I'm glad you're going to San Pablo.

I think you will find something important there.

For each of you.

Thank you, Doctor.

If you'll excuse me, I will show you something.

Another surprise? So many surprises...

-What's he getting, squirt? -A book.

-A book... -You have quite an appetite, Lito.

This is the great love of my life, after my wife, of course.

It's my novel.

"Latitudes of Silence"

I hope you'll do me the honour of reading it.

-Of course. -Of course, Doctor.

The honour is ours.

You can give me your opinion in Ucayali.

-Of course. May I? -Of course.

Who dares go first?

Both of us.

He reads much faster than me. He's really a fast reader.

Well, boys, that's the ship, "La Cenepa."

You'll be in San Pablo in 5 days.

All aboard!


Thank you for your hospitality, for the tickets, for the clothes.

Thank you for everything. It's been an honour.

Don't mention it.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

One more thing, haven't you forgotten something?

You haven't said anything about my novel.

-You've read it? -Of course.

-And? -What can I say?

I can say, without exaggeration, that no one... can tell a story like you do.

It took me a lot of work.

Ernesto, your opinion?

He loved it.

If he loved it, I'd like to hear him tell me.

Look, Doctor, I think your book is a bit trite, there are too many clichés, and I...

Well, that's not so bad...

No...the writing is basically - bad.

Basically unreadable.

It's a worthy attempt, Doctor, but I think you should stick to what you know best.

I'm sorry, Maestro, you asked my opinion and that's it.

Damn you, boy...

Nobody's been this honest with me.

You're the only one.

The only one.

Well, I won't keep you any longer.

So long, we're forever grateful. Thank you.

Take care!

Have you seen... a bag that was just here?

-No. -A small brown one.

I'll bring it over if I do.

What's wrong with him?

Call for help!

The pillow!

Hand me the pillow!

Take it easy, Fuser.

Take it easy, Fuser. Adrenaline on the way...

Okay, Fuser. It's over...

Fuser, Fuser, quiet. It's all over now.


I want to thank you for helping out my friend.

No problem. He was in really bad shape.

Fuck, yeah.

-He scared me a lot. -Me too.

Thank you very much, Miss.

You know, a little while ago there was a bufeo out there.

A bufeo?

They're river dolphins but we call them bufeos.

Have you ever seen one?

Never. I've heard of them, but I've never seen one.

I'm going to tell you a secret.

The bufeo's sex organs are like that of a woman's... and the Indians use them to... comfort themselves.

But there's a little problem.

As soon as they're done, they have to kill the animal... because they suffer contractions that won't release them.

-Miss, if I may, can I ask you a question? -Shoot.


What brings you to these inhospitable waters?

I work on the boat.

I come and go between Pucallpa and Leticia.

I'm from Pucallpa.

-Pucallpan. -Pucallpian.

-Pucallpian, got it. -Have you been there?

Yes, it's full of beautiful women, but you are the loveliest.

-Thank you. -You're welcome.

And how do you pay for your passage?

I give the captain part of my earnings. do you earn your earnings, Miss?

Let's just say...if we go to your cabin, I can show you.

The name's Luz, in case you want to know who you're doing business with.

My little Luz, for a night with you I'd pay enough gold to equal the Aconcagua.

But, honey, I've run out of cash.

Well, my friend, in that case you'll have to excuse me.

-Hey... -I've gotta go earn a living.

You're not going to leave me like this, are you?

-I need the fifteen dollars, Fuser. -What?

Her name is Luz.

She told me a story of a fish the Indians fuck and kissed me, I'm so horny I could explode.

I spent them.

No, Fuser.

Don't bust my balls.

We crossed a desert together, we starved, froze, had accidents...

My needs come before Chichina's bathing suit.

I don't have them.

I gave them to the mining couple.

Woo her.

Fuck you, Fuser.

The house wins, gentlemen.

Mr Lloyds is leaving our table.

-Good evening. -Good evening, sir.

-Miss... -Place your bets, gentlemen.

-Eight soles. -Ten soles.

One sol.

Sir, this is for men, not schoolchildren.

I didn't know that in Peru a man's balls are measured in soles.

Very well. Let's play.

Cards, sirs.


-Card? -One.

-Sir? -No.

-Sir? -One.

I'll stay put.

-Card. -Sure.

Thank you.

Gentlemen, the house pays 2 1 .

Sir, 1 7...

I'm sorry, gentlemen.

-Young man? -Pay up. 2 1 .

-How much did you bet? -One sol.

There we go, the first one.

Well, gentlemen, let's continue. Place your bets.

Two soles.

Gentlemen, don't fall asleep on me, let's see those bets.

-Thirty soles. -Ten soles.

Gentlemen, once again! Blackjack!

That's impossible!

-How much do I owe you? -Thirty soles.

The house pays up.

See you later. Thank you.

I'll be retiring.

I think we know who's got the biggest balls at this table.

Excuse me, gentlemen.


Hey, now that we're millionaires, let's go eat.

Precisely, check out that morsel right there.

What a lucky night.

Ernesto... This is Luz, which means "light."

At your service.

"Electrifying light that dazzles my dreams.

Get ready, you've no clue what's coming to you."



Are you Doctor Bresciani?

How are you, boys? Good trip?

-Yes. -Long, but good.

A bit long, huh?

-Alberto, Ernesto? -No, the other way round.

-A pleasure, I'm Bresciani. -The pleasure is ours, Doctor.

Dr Pesce has spoken enthusiastically of you, so welcome to San Pablo.

Oh, by the way, I have a letter from him.

-Do you want it now? -Later on.

Well, since we're already here, I can tell you about the colony.

The Amazon cuts the colony in half.

The patients live on the South side, and the staff, doctors and nurses are here on the North... as well as a group of nuns who do things with great efficiency.

Here's your room.

The beds are a bit hard, but it's good for the spine.

You can see the hospital from here, and the lab is over there.

Dr Souza Lima, these are our Argentinian volunteers, Mr Granado, Mr Ernesto Guevara.

Alberto, I believe you have experience in the laboratory, right?

That's correct.

I think he'll be able to help. Why don't you show him the research lab?

Ernesto, you're going to help me at the hospital with consultations.

We transfer the seriously ill over here, we bring them in from the South side.

Hello, Doctor.

-Do you also operate on this side? -Yes, we have an OR over there.

That's Elvia, she's the daughter of a patient. A very good nurse.

How is he?

-Is he okay? -He's much better.

-Continue the same treatment then. -Okay.

Doctor, how many patients live on the South side?

-Almost 600. -All Peruvian?

No, most are, but we have some from Colombia, Venezuela, and other South American countries.

I suggest you wear these gloves.

Although leprosy is not contagious under treatment, the nuns are quite insistent on this point.

If it's not contagious, then it's just symbolic, right?

Yes, I'm just telling you so you don't make any mortal enemies.

You know what, Doctor, you'll excuse us, but we're not going to wear them.

Thank you, Doctor.

-Don't say I didn't warn you. -All right.

Get the boxes out.

Right this way, boys.

-Good afternoon. -Good afternoon.

-Welcome to San Pablo. -Thank you.

Papá Carlito at your service.

-Nemesio Reyna. -I'm Ernesto Guevara.

I'm Alberto Granado, a pleasure to meet you.

Doctor, haven't you explained the rules?

A pleasure.

-How are you, Nemesio? -Well.

Papá Carlito is the community leader. They are Argentinian doctors.

A pleasure. See you later.

Those guys are real gents.

Doctor, these gentlemen just show up and think they can do what they want?

Mother Sor Alberto, these gentlemen have medical experience in Córdoba and Buenos Aires.

That doesn't give them the right to break the rules.

Why don't we talk about this later?

Thank you, Mother, you are very understanding.

Excuse us.

She's the Mother Superior.

-I think she wants me. -I think she does.


This is the dining hall.

The nuns provide lunch here on Sundays.

But only for those who come to Mass.

Most of the patients were sent here by their families or fired from their jobs.

So they adapt the their new lives, by building their own houses... farming and raising animals.

-Doctor. -Good day.

-How's Silvia? -She doesn't want the surgery.

Thank you.

Silvia is a somewhat rebellious patient.

Surgery is the last chance to save her arm.

Hello, Silvia.

She's young.

May I go talk to her?

Can I sit?

Does your arm hurt?

What's wrong?

I was born with shitty lungs.


It's not so bad.

Thanks to that, I got out of military service.

I didn't have to clean anybody's boots.

Is that why you became a doctor, because you're sick?


The first word I learned was injection.

I want to be useful, somehow.

You're wasting your time.


Life is pain.

Yeah, it's pretty screwed up.

You gotta fight for every breath, and tell death to go to hell.


Bresciani's going to write me a letter of recommendation for a residency in Caracas at the Cabo Blanco Hospital.

How's that sound?

That's good, isn't it?


What's wrong, Fuser?

Have you seen the river?

Of course.

It segregates the ill from the healthy.


Look at this hand.

Right here.


Are you all right?


It's all right.

Look at me, look me in the eye.

Are you all right?

The nerve is coming out, it's thick.

I have four siblings, Celia, Ana María, Roberto and Juan Martín.

Honestly, they're what I miss most.

And also my Mum.

You have to let me know sooner.

Have you been playing football lately?

Not lately.

I'd appreciate it if you wore sneakers next time, -and don't forget to invite me. -My pleasure.

All right, Northerners!

Come on, Northerners, mark that one there!

Come on, Southerners!

All right, Southerners!

Get out there!

Mark that one!


What happened?

What happened, Chubby? We nailed you!

Fuck you!

Some rice...corn, onion.

Excuse me.

Sister, why won't you serve us, what's wrong?

Mother Sor Alberto's rules are very clear. food is served only to those who attend Holy Mass.

They won't serve us because we didn't go to Mass?

-Says who? -Sor Alberto.


Yes, sons?

-We'd like to eat, if possible. -We deserve to eat like everybody else.

-But you didn't go to Mass. -No.

So, how do you expect to feed the body if you haven't first fed the soul?

Ma'am, it's unchristian to deny us food!

We have rules in this house, and they have to be followed.

I didn't see any rulebook.

Neither did I. I think if I find it, I'll eat it.

Your lunch.

-You stole it? -Yes.

Thank you.

-You stole it from Sor Alberto? -Yes.


-Deep? -Yeah.

-Do you want maté? -No, thanks.


-From Caracas? -Caracas.

This is great.

Great, isn't it?

Should I take it?

What do you wanna do?

Maybe it's time to settle down, huh?

Get a steady job, a girlfriend.

Grow a gut.

And you? Are you going back to school, to Buenos Aires?

I don't know. If I find a way of getting back, yes.

You'll be 24 next week, Fuser.

I should be thinking ahead, huh?

He dances pretty well. Have you seen the nun?

Check this out.

Come on, dance.


Thank you. Very nice.

-Good party, huh? -Fantastic!

Listen, it's the Tango you danced in Miramar.

I like it.

Did you notice? You know how to dance this one.

-This one's a bit fast, isn't it? -You dance it perfectly, and I think there's a young lady interested in dancing with you.

I should ask her, right?

The bird of youth flies away and doesn't come back. Fly, man, fly!

Would you like to dance?

-Do you know this dance? -Yes.

This version is a bit faster than the one I know.


Let Ernesto dance!

Did you think it was a Tango?

It's a Mambo, Fuser!

Make three wishes!

All right!

My dear friends, a moment, please.

I think it's the perfect time to let Ernesto and Alberto know... how grateful we are to them. Not only for having come here, but also for the enthusiasm and dedication... they have shown towards San Pablo's patients during their three weeks with us.

To show our appreciation, we have a little surprise for you.

Tomorrow we're going to give you a raft so that you can continue your trip.

This raft will be named after tonight's newly invented dance: the Mambo-Tango.

-Nice one! -Thank you, Doctor!

Speech! Speech!'s my duty to thank you for this toast with something more than the usual conventions.

But, in view of the shabby conditions in which we travel, all we have to offer you are words.

Employing them, I'd like to express my sincere thanks, to the entire staff of the colony, who, although they barely know us, have shown their affection by celebrating my birthday as if it were an intimate celebration of one of their own.

Tomorrow we leave for Peru, so these words are also our farewell, in which I'd like to say how grateful I am to the people of this country who have generously looked after us again and again.

I'd like to add something else, completely unrelated to this toast...

Don't worry, I won't dance.

Even though we are too insignificant to be spokesmen for such a noble cause, we believe, and this journey has only confirmed this belief, that the division of America into unstable and illusory nations, is a complete fiction.

We are one single mestizo race from Mexico to the Magellan Straits.

And so, in an attempt to free ourselves from narrow-minded provincialism, I propose a toast to Peru and to a United America.

-Cheers! -Cheers!



What... What's wrong?

Do you know where the boat is?

No, can't see it.

I'm going to celebrate my birthday on the other side.

Sure, tomorrow, when we find the boat you'll go across and celebrate.

-No. Now. -No, not now.

My birthday is today, not tomorrow.

Yeah, I know, Fuser, but you're not going to...

Are you nuts? At night? The animals in there will eat you alive!

How many times did we think we wouldn't make it...?

-And look, here we are. -But this is different, Fuser.

-Why? -Because I won't be there to help you.

-I'm not going in there... -You're always gonna be with me, Mial.

Come here you little shit! Come here!

Your mother's gonna kill me!

Fuser! Come here!

Ernesto, listen to me!

Ernesto, come back!

Fuck you!

Ernesto, come back!

Fuck, come back!

What's wrong?

The crazy idiot wants to swim across the river!


Please tell me someone has already crossed this river.

In all the years I've been here, no one.

Ernesto, come back here, damn it.

Son, listen to your friend!

He won't listen.

-Come here, kid! -Come back, Ernesto!

Come back! It's dangerous!


-Ernesto, come back! -Come on, come back!

The river is very strong!

What is it?

I don't know, something's going on.

Ernesto! Do what I say for once in your life.

The current is even stronger now.

What is he doing?

This idiot wants to swim across the river!

Come back, damn it!


He's swimming...

-Is that Ernesto? -Yes, he's swimming towards us...

He's over there!

Boy, get back here!

-He's tired. -You can do it, Ernesto!

He's over there!

Go! Go! Go, Ernesto!

Come on!

Just a bit more!

He made it! The motherfucker made it!

He made it!

All right, Ernesto!

I always knew he'd make it.

I always knew...


I'm going to miss you so much.

Take good care.

See you, Nemesio.

Papá Carlito is feeling real sad...

Take care of yourself.

Bye, Bin.

-We're gonna miss you. -Me too.

Thanks for everything.

Don't forget us.

-Take good care of yourself. -You too, Silvia.

Thank you, thanks.

Bye, Ernesto.

Take care.

Take good care of your family.

Take care of yourselves, you guys.

-Goodbye, Mauro. -Safe travels.

I'd prepared a speech full of anecdotes and grandiose phrases, I can't remember shit now.

That's how it goes.



It's not too late to come work with me in Cabo Blanco.

You could come back after you graduate. I'll wait for you.

I don't know.

I just don't know.

You know, Mial, all this time we spent on the road,

something happened.

Something I'll have to think about for a long time.

So much injustice...

Come on, the plane's taking off!

Well, I should go...

Wait, take this, it may help.

-You kept it? -It's yours.

-I'd better go. -Yes.

I'll write, okay?


I have something very important to tell you...

My birthday is not on April 2nd, it's on August 8th.

-I just said that to motivate us. -I know.

-You knew it? -Yeah.


-So long, Mial! -Bye, my friend.

This isn't a tale of heroic feats.

It's about two lives running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams.

Was our view too narrow, too biased, too hasty?

Were our conclusions too rigid?


Wandering around our America has changed me more than I thought.

I am not me any more. at least I'm not the same me I was.

It took eight years for Ernesto and Alberto to meet again.

In 1 960 Granado was invited to live and work in Cuba.

The invitation came from his old friend Fuser, now "Comandante" Ernesto Che Guevara, one of the most prominent and inspiring leaders of the Cuban Revolution.

Che went on to fight for his ideals in the Congo and Bolivia where he was captured, and with the support of the CIA, murdered in October, 1 967.

Forever faithful to his friend Fuser, Granado remained in Cuba where he founded the Santiago School of Medicine.

He lives in Havana with his wife Delia, their children and grandchildren.