essay

In the process of self-discovery, Che
challenged his prior understandings of himself, provoking, to a significant
extent emotional maturation, a meaningful impact from the physical exploration
of foreign landscapes and their people. The breakdown of La Poderosa marks a
significant turning point in the development of Che’s character as its
existence acted as a barrier from him finding the real and meaningful
connection with the proletariats. The olfactory imagery of, ‘the acrid smell of
concentrated sweat and dirty feet,’ paints a vivid image of the unpleasant
living standards of asthmatic women’s and exemplifies the provocative impact of
the discovery. Consequently, he juxtaposes his initial self, ‘jaded with
medical school, hospitals and exam’ to becoming a doctor ‘conscious of his
complete powerlessness’ highlighting the impracticality of his current self in
addressing the injustices. Furthermore, his sarcastic tone towards foreign
exploitation of natural resources and labour in ‘the biggest effort Chile
should make is to shake its uncomfortable Yankee friend from its back’
reflecting anti-American sentiment and shows the political comments he makes.
As a result of these emotional encounters throughout his journey, he becomes
increasingly oriented towards social justice rather than adventurer triggering
the process of self-discovery and awakening his political identity.

Similarly, in the short film ’23
Degrees and 5 Minutes’, the difficulties incurred in the process of discovery
offer insights into more fresh and meaningful discoveries resulting in a change
in a character’s emotional identity. Professor Orit and his student Babbage
dedicate their life to discover where the mysteries of the numbers two, three
and five, however, the Professor suddenly ‘disappears’. The effect of using a
flashback, draws in all the efforts and hardships both characters endured,
prior to his journey to the North pole in search of his Professor and thus
leading him to his current ‘predicament’. Babbage’s question, ‘was I really
going to find…the man who was like a father to me?’, reflects his changing
attitude towards his intended discovery, making the journey meaningful and
emotional. The repetition of the word ‘disappeared’ as the camera zooms away
from the Professor’s empty office suggests Babbage’s emotional connection
withering, further supporting the notions that the two men were like ‘family’.
At present, Babbage unexpectedly finds the Professor standing before him. The
surprised tone and exclamation in, ‘good god Professor, is that really you?’ as
well as the uplifting music facial expressions by both men paints a warm image
of the brief yet deeply meaningful and fulfilling reunion. Although he
‘disappears’ once again, Babbage is still content and comes to relive his
unsettling curiosity and longing for the Professor, signified by the
affectionate expression on his face.

Che challenges his prior assumptions
about the world due to the provocative situations he faced throughout his
journey, resulting in renewed perspectives about the world around him. The
influence of his elitist upbringing and romanticised views of the world is
evident in his hyperbolic description of the sea which ‘signifies an infinite
number of paths to all ends of Earth’. 
Although Che dreams of a ‘lighter air…[and] beautiful women…in our
turbulent imaginations’, he is forced to contradict his statement as he
witnesses Indigenous women wearing ‘underskirts of excrement’ bringing to light
the harsh reality. These experiences signify a disjunct between Che’s
observations of the aesthetics and the reality of injustice. Furthermore, Che’s
contrast in circumstances from ‘we had been knights of the road’ to being
hitchhikers, ‘shadows of our former aristocratic selves’, emphasises the
discontinuation of his romantic self-perception as a royal adventurer.
Ultimately, we see Che’s perspective of the world shift from a narrow and naïve
perspective to one that inherently sympathises with the disadvantaged whose
life he hyperbolises as ‘the profound tragedy of the proletariat world’. These
unexpected discoveries of inequalities challenge his previous bourgeois life as
a naïve and result in him adopting politicised ideologies, shaping his future
path into an iconic revolutionary.