El Dia Que Me Quieras: (The Day You'll Love Me)

Directed by Leandro Katz

30 minutes / Color
English; Spanish / English subtitles
Release: 1999
Copyright: 1998

Investigating death and the power of photography, EL DIA QUE ME QUIERAS is a meditation on the last picture taken of Che Guevara, as he lay dead on a table surrounded by his captors.

After Guevara was captured and killed, in 1967, a wire photograph was transmitted from Bolivia. Its publication on October 10, 1967, was the culmination of a legendary search that had lasted two years. The photograph shows the corpse in a room full of military men. Taken by Freddy Alborta, it has been compared to Mantegna's Dead Christ and Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Professor Tulp.

Katz has deconstructed this infamous photograph, approaching the work as an archaeologist sifting historical remnants. Using close-up photography and masking techniques, he re-photographs the image, and asks questions about its content, attempting to expose the indeterminate powers of photographic and cinematic representation.

The results invoke a sense of loss and mourning. But the film counters the mythologizing of Guevara by placing him back into the Latin American intellectual life of his day through references to Borges, Gardel, Neruda, Castro and contemporary Andean culture. A crucial aspect of this is an interview with the photographer, Freddy Alborta.

Alborta was the only professional photographer among the journalists taken to see Guevara's corpse. He wasn't credited for the photo until recently. From the several rolls of film he took that day, Alborta gave Katz 72 photographs never seen before to use in the film. His memories of that day, his dramatic photographs, along with rare newsreel footage and international headlines announcing the event are the central elements of the film.

EL DIA QUE ME QUIERAS takes its title from a song by Argentine singer Carlos Gardel. Popular in Latin America since the 1930s, the song tells of a love that brings about an almost biblical transformation. Guevara has also been transformed into a myth. This film attempts a deconstruction of the myth, through the detailed examination of a photo depicting the figure on his deathbed.

"Visually exquisite and deeply moving… 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: Che Guevara."—Jeffrey Skoller, Afterimage

"Like a police investigator, Katz draws out all the circumstances of the photo's making and puts the photo into a powerful material context… By carefully drawing out and examining the material aspects of this famous photograph in a temporal pan-Latin intellectual context, Katz opens up the full horror of Che's death and disappearance."—John Hess, Jump Cut

"A powerful video which explores issues surrounding the famous photo of Che Guevara's corpse taken in Bolivia in 1976. Leandro Katz deconstructs both the photo and its meaning in dramatic fashion… providing a sort of photohistoric context for exploring the death of a leader and its impact for people around the world. This video would be useful and appropriate for photography, journalism, and visual media courses. Recommended."—Educational Media Reviews Online

Other Ways to Watch

Colleges, Universities, Government Agencies, Hospitals, and Corporations

Purchase DVD for $248.00

Available for educational streaming from:


Leandro Katz

Select Accolades

  • 2000 Award of Merit in Film, Latin American Studies Association
  • 2000 Society for Photograpic Education Conference Film Festival
  • Coral Prize, 1998 Festival of New Latin American Cinema (Cuba)
  • Best Documentary, 1998 International Film Festival of Valdivia (Chile)


Chris Marker's epic film-essay on the worldwide political wars of the 60's and 70's: Vietnam, Che, May '68, Prague, Chile, and the fate of the New Left.

Chris Marker | 2001 | 178 minutes | Color | English | English subtitles