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Che Guevara by Freddy Alborta

(The Day You’ll Love Me)
30 minutes, color, sound, 16mm. film
(also DVD, Spanish and English) 1997

buttonDVD included in The Ghosts of Ñancahuazú
A restored high resolution version will be available in 2022

  A non-narrative film investigating death and the power of photography, El Día Que Me Quieras is a meditation on the last pictures taken of Ernesto Che Guevara, as he lay dead on a table surrounded by his captors, in Bolivia in 1967.
Not a political documentary in the traditional sense, the film alternates between evocation and straight reportage, centering on an interview with the Bolivian photographer Freddy Alborta. Suffused with a sense of mystery, El Día Que Me Quieras is about our assimilation of history.

Cinematography : Mark Daniels - Sound : Rob Taz - Music : David Darling
Direction and Montage : Leandro Katz

When Che Guevara was captured and killed, a wire photograph of his body was transmitted worldwide. It depicted the corpse in a room full of gleeful military men. The photograph, by Freddy Alborta, has been compared by John Berger to Mantegna’s Dead Christ and to Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Professor Tulp. The film centers on an interview with Freddy Alborta, his recollections from October 10, 1967, the dramatic photographs taken by him on that day, the intricate sets of international headlines found during our research, as well as the rare newsreel footage of this disturbing event
El Día Que Me Quieras takes its title from a song by Carlos Gardel, an Argentine singer who disappeared at the height of his career in a plane crash in Medellín, Colombia in 1936. The song, which has remained popular in Latin America since the 1930s, tells of a love fantasy that comes true bringing about an almost biblical transformation. The words of this song and the brief voice-over text based on ‘The Witness’ by Jorge Luis Borges, suggest a mood of eulogy to the documentary material.
The film also incorporates sequences filmed in the Aymara town of Ilabaya, in the High Andes region of Bolivia, where a large group of musicians and dancers enacts a striking pageant set in the fields and the streets of the ancient town of Ilabaya. Their performance stands as a metaphorical homage to Guevara.
In addition to the music recorded on location in Ilabaya, American composer David Darling has composed a magnificent cello solo for the film.
Thirty years after Guevara’s disappearance, El Día Que Me Quieras attempts to heal the open wound of his absence. In July, 1997, after more than a year of excavations, Guevara’s remains were found by an international team of forensic archaeologists in Vallegrande, Bolivia, where he had been secretly buried. Three months later, Cuba finally buried the legendary Che Guevara in the town of Santa Clara where, in 1959, he had fought the decisive battle that made him a national hero.
El Día Que Me Quieras had its world prèmiere at the Festival del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de La Habana, where it won The International Jury’s Coral Prize. It has also won the ‘Best Documentary’ prize in the Festival Internacional de Cine de Valdivia, Chile. The film has been included in the Rotterdam/Holland, Pesaro/Italy, Valladolid/Spain, Oslo/Norway, Leipzig/Germany, Vue Sur Les Docs/Marseille, Festival dei Popoli/Italy and Los Angeles Latino International Film Festivals, among others. It was part of the Visible Evidence Conference at San Francisco State University and also the New Documentaries Series at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Che Guevara by Freddy Alborta

Review quotes :

“El Día Que Me Quieras is a formidable documentary based on the photograph of Che Guevara’s cadaver surrounded by his murderers -- a photograph published throughout the world and compared to masterworks of Rembrandt and Mantegna. In the film Leandro Katz interviews Freddy Alborta, the photographer behind this image, as he meditates on the theatrical pose of apparent victory staged by Bolivian generals and CIA operatives; an image which in time would turn itself against them. Unpublished shots taken on that day, a native Bolivian ceremony honoring Che, and never before seen documentary footage, make of this film a powerful and moving offering.” Rolando Perez Betancourt - Granma

“The marvel of an astounding montage combined with the somber music of David Darling, the rich scenery of a fleeting Bolivian landscape with its brief hues of folklore and history, turn this film in all its parts into a clear demonstration of a true talent capable of drawing an indelible path for making excellent cinema: El Día Que Me Quieras is, without a doubt, a small masterpiece.” Edmundo Ribadeneira - El Comercio

"Visually exquisite and deeply moving... Leandro Katz's film is at once an elegy to the passing of the age of revolution in Latin America and an investigation into the history and mythos surrounding the infamous photograph of the beatific corpse of its central icon: Ché Guevara." Jeffrey Skoller - AfterImage


JumpCut, 'El Día Que Me Quieras, History, Myth and Che Guevara' John Hess
AfterImage Vol. 26, No. 5, 'The Future's Past: Re-imaging the Cuban Revolution" Jeffrey Skoller
Karina Micheletto - Página 12

Antropología Visual
Eduardo Grüner- Iconografías Malditas, Imágenes Desencantadas


Festivals and Prizes :

*Coral Prize - Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de La Habana, Cuba *Best Documentary - Festival Internacional de Cine de Valdivia, Chile - *Special Mention - San Juan CineFestival, Puerto Rico, USA - *Honorable Mention -International Short Film Festival, Iran - *2000 Award of Merit in Film, Latin American Studies Association -
Official section: •Rotterdam International Film Festival, Holland •Rencontres Cinémas d’Amérique Latine de Toulouse, France - •It’s All True / E Tudo Verdade Documentary Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil - •CineVision Innsbruck International Film Festival, Austria - •San Antonio CineFestival, Texas, USA - •Pesaro International Film Festival, Italy - •Vue Sur Les Docs Film Festival, Marseille, France - •Festival Internacional de Cine de Valladolid, Spain •Films From The South International, Oslo, Norway - •Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, USA - •Festival International Nouveau Cinéma, Montreal, Canada - •Leipzig International Documentary Film Festival, Germany - •Hawaii International Film Festival, USA - •Festival Dei Popoli, Florence, Italy - •Tampere International Film Festival, Finland - Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, Argentina - •Troia International Film Festival, Portugal - •Denver Latino International Film Festival, USA - •Istanbul International Film Festival, Turkey - •Viennale International Film Festival, Austria -•Cinememoria, Encuentros del Otro Cine, Ecuador - •International Film Festival of Bilbao, ZINEBI, Spain

Selected Exhibitions and Conferences :

•Visible Evidence Conference, San Francisco State University - • Cooper Union, Visiting Artist’s Series - •The Film Center, School of The Art Institute of Chicago - •Cinemateca Ecuatoriana - Casa de la Cultura - •The Millennium Film Workshop - •Videoteca del Sur - •New Documentaries, The Museum of Modern Art - Nations, Pollinations and Dislocations, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design - •Frames of Reference, The Guggenheim Museum - •The American Century, Whitney Museum of American Art - •Official Selection, 2000 Society for Photograpic Education Conference Film Festival - •Museo de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires, Argentina - •Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina - •Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina - •Gwangju Biennale 2010 '10,000 Lives' - South Korea - •Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC – 'Proyecto para el día que me quieras y la danza de fantasmas'- Mexico, 2018 - •PROA 21 – 'Proyecto para el día que me quieras' Buenos Aires, 2018

Selected Bibliography:

The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War (Convergences: Inventories of the Present) by Jean Franco, Harvard University Press
Shadows, Specters and Shards
: Making History in Avant-Garde Films by Jeffrey Skoller - University of Minnesota Press, 2005
Cuban Palimpsests by José Quiroga - University of Minnesota Press, 2005

The Ghosts of Ñancahuazú - Photographs and essays by Freddy Alborta, John Berger, Jean Franco, Eduardo Grüner, Leandro Katz, Mariano Mestman and Jeffrey Skoller - Viper's Tongue Books, English and Spanish, 2010

Eduardo Grüner- Iconografías Malditas, Imágenes Desencantadas - FILO-UBA, 2017
Reconciling Myth with Photographic Histories in Leandro Katz's El día que me quieras
- David Rojinsky - Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies, 2020
Viewing Photography in Post-Dictatorship Latin America: Visual Interruptions, 1997-2016 -David Rojinsky - Palgrave/Macmillan


•This project has been produced in English and in Spanish versions.
A high resolution of El Día Que Me Quieras has been produced in 2021

For further information, please contact: email El Día Que Me Quieras

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