Chavela, the documentary feature about the late Costa Rican-born Mexican singer Chavela Vargas, will have its world premiere as part of the 67th edition of the Berlin Film Festival in the Panorama section. Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, the film is an homage to the Mexican singer, whose exceptional talent carried her to the world’s most notable concert halls, and whose independence and prodigious sacrifice in her life as a lesbian testified to an admirable attitude that stayed with her to a ripe old age.
The last concert of this lover of Frida Kahlo, which took place under the patronage of Pedro Almodóvar (who has featured her music consistently in his films), was an homage performed in Madrid to the great gay Spanish poet Federico García Lorca.
Chavela (formerly Amor, Puro y Duro) takes viewers on an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the iconoclastic life of the game-changing artist. Centered around never before-seen interview footage of Chavela shot 20 years before her death in 2012, and guided by the stories in Chavela’s songs, and the myths and tales others have told about her—as well as those she spread about herself—the film weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being.
The 67th edition of the Berlin Film Festival will take place February 9-19 in Germany.