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Chavela

Chavela

About the Film

Chavela is the captivating portrait of barrier-breaking Mexican ranchera singer Chavela Vargas whose international fame peaked after a triumphant return to the stage at the age of 71.

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 had become a household name, 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 defied gender and sexuality stereotypes at a time when being “out” was often 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 rises into her momentous third act, achieving international fame, a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, and becomes a muse to many, including filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar.


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

Reactions

"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 
  • Official Selection - 2017 Frameline41, San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival
  • Official Selection - 2017 Seattle International Film Festival
  • Official Selection - 2017 Minneapolis St. Paul International 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 30m
Screen Ratio: 1.77:1
Sound: 5.1
Color: Color, B&W
Rating: Not Rated

Theaters

New York
New York
10/4/17

Chavela - Press Page

Hi Res Photos
For single image download (Open and Right-click to save to desktop)

Awards & Festivals

  • Official Selection - 2017 Berlin International Film Festival
  • Official Selection - 2017 HotDocs 
  • Official Selection - 2017 Frameline41, San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival
  • Official Selection - 2017 Seattle International Film Festival
  • Official Selection - 2017 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival 

Reactions

"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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