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Chavela

Chavela

"A woman whose voice drew forth a song's every emotion." - Variety

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Chavela

Trailer

About the Film

Chavela is the captivating look at the unconventional life of beloved performer Chavela Vargas, whose passionate renditions of Mexican popular music and triumphant return to the stage late in life brought her international fame.

Born in Costa Rica in 1919, Chavela Vargas ran away to Mexico City as a teenager to sing in the streets. By the 1950s, she became a household name in her adopted country, delivering her performances with a raw passion and unique voice. Just as influential were her cultural contributions; Chavela was a bold, rebellious, sexual pioneer who was known for having many female lovers at a time when being out in Mexico was dangerous.

Chavela centers around a 1991 interview--the singer's first public appearance after 15 hard years lost to alcoholism and heartbreak. In the final years of her life, Chavela openly comes out as a lesbian and rises into her momentous third act, becoming a muse to filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, earning a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, and selling out performances at prestigious concert halls around the world.


Director: Catherine Gund & Daresha Kyi
Release Date: 10/04/17

Reactions

StarStarStarStarStar  “A wonderful tribute to a queer icon” – David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
Full Review

“Dazzling. Poignant. Thoroughly enthralling.” – Claudia Puig, The Wrap
Full Review

"Donald Trump’s ultimate nightmare – a Mexican lesbian diva who can wring your very soul." – Jonathan Romney, The Guardian 
Full Review 

“A trailblazing free spirit whose appetite for tequila and women was as legendary as her soul-stirring vocals...” – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
Full Review

“Legendary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas receives justifiably laudatory treatment in this documentary celebrating her refusal to compromise together with her musical brilliance.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety 
Full Review 

Awards & Festivals

  • Official Selection - 2017 Berlin International Film Festival
  • Official Selection - 2017 HotDocs 
  • Winner, Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature, 2017 Outfest Los Angeles
  • Winner, AT&T Audience Award for Best Documentary and Honorable Mention Jury Award - 2017 Frameline41 San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival

Cast & Crew

Featuring

Chavela Vargas
Pedro Almodóvar
Elena Benarroch
Miguel Bosé
Alicia Elena Pérez Duarte y Noroña
Liliana Felipe
Patria Jiménez Flores
Laura García-Lorca
Martirio Gira
Mariana Gyalui
José Alfredo Jiménez Jr.
Eugenia León
Tania Libertad
Diana Ortega
Tlany Ortega
Jesusa Rodríguez
Marcela Rodríguez
Betty-Carol Sellen

Crew

Produced & Directed by: Catherine Gund & Daresha Kyi
Executive ProducersLynda Weinman & Bruce Heavin
Co-Producers: Pepita Serrano & Agnes Gund
Cinematography: Catherine Gund (Mexico), Natalia Cuevas (Mexico), Paula Gutierrez (Spain)
Editor: Carla Gutierrez 
Composer: Gil Talmi

Technical Info

Production Year: 2017
Release Date: 10/04/17
Countries of Production: US, Spain, Mexico
Languages: English, Spanish
Running Time: 1h 33m
Screen Ratio: 1.77:1
Sound: 5.1
Color: Color, B&W
Rating: Not Rated

Theaters

Santa Fe
New Mexico
11/10/17
Glendale
Arizona
11/10/17
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
11/10/17
Hudson
New York
11/16/17
Oakland
California
11/17/17
Pelham
New York
11/17/17
Eugene
Oregon
11/22/17
Austin
Texas
11/22/17
Detroit
Michigan
11/24/17
Los Angeles
California
11/28/17
Providence
Rhode Island
12/1/17
Palm Springs
California
12/8/17

Chavela - Press Page

Hi Res Photos
For single image download (Open and Right-click to save to desktop)
Chavela - 1
Chavela - 2
Chavela - 3
Chavela - 4
Chavela - 5
Chavela - 6

Awards & Festivals

  • Official Selection - 2017 Berlin International Film Festival
  • Official Selection - 2017 HotDocs 
  • Winner, Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature, 2017 Outfest Los Angeles
  • Winner, AT&T Audience Award for Best Documentary and Honorable Mention Jury Award - 2017 Frameline41 San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival

Reactions

StarStarStarStarStar  “A wonderful tribute to a queer icon” – David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
Full Review

“Dazzling. Poignant. Thoroughly enthralling.” – Claudia Puig, The Wrap
Full Review

"Donald Trump’s ultimate nightmare – a Mexican lesbian diva who can wring your very soul." – Jonathan Romney, The Guardian 
Full Review 

“A trailblazing free spirit whose appetite for tequila and women was as legendary as her soul-stirring vocals...” – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
Full Review

“Legendary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas receives justifiably laudatory treatment in this documentary celebrating her refusal to compromise together with her musical brilliance.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety 
Full Review 
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