‘An eye-opening primer on an intoxicating performer about whom too little is known.’
Audience award winner for Best Documentary at the 2017 Frameline Film Festival, this rousing film tells the story of a cigar-smoking, tequila-downing rebel. Chavela Vargas dramatically shook up Mexico’s music industry by working against traditional gender codes and singing like a man. Through donning pants and ponchos and singing conventionally male rancheras, Chavela’s performances were melancholic and cathartic for audiences. Documentarians Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi use never-before-seen footage of unguarded conversations with Vargas before her death in 2012 alongside archival footage and contemporary interviews to chronicle her hard-drinking lifestyle, love affairs with Ava Gardner and Frida Kahlo, late-career collaborations with Pedro Almodóvar and, sadly, ultimate heartbreak. Chavela played by her own rules and seduced generations of audiences in the process.
Courtesy: Latido Films