James Benning’s absorbing 1998 experimental feature combines beautifully composed images of desert landscapes, stretching from Death Valley to south of the Mexican border, with the entire sound track of the English-language version of Richard Dindo’s 1994 Swiss documentary Ernesto Che Guevara, the Bolivian Journal. Sometimes sound and image match up in interesting and unexpected ways and sometimes they don’t; a lot depends on the viewer’s level of imagination and involvement, though a lengthy printed title at the end tries to shoehorn a lot of additional political and metaphorical relationships into the mix. More generally, Benning is interested in desert spaces as the sites of failed utopias. (JR)

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