She was born Isabel Vargas Lizano, but to the world she was known simply as Chavela.
In co-directors Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi’s engaging new documentary, audiences are re-introduced to one of music’s most uncompromising souls – Chavela Vargas, Grammy-winning Mexican icon who was known as much for her hauntingly passionate performances as she was for her rebellious outsider free spirit. In her amazing journey from a 14-year-old rejected runaway from Costa Rica to world-renowned artist, this raucous and entertaining dream-weaver took bits and pieces of who she was – and who she wanted to be – and manifested them into her music.
Although she didn’t officially “come out” until she was 81 years old, Chavela carefully crafted a public persona as a sexy sexual outlaw who blazed her own unique trail, at a time and place when such expression was extremely rare, until she left the physical plane at the tender age of 93. A Costa Rican-born Mexican singer, Chavela was especially known for her rendition of Mexican rancheras, but she is also recognized for her contribution to other genres of popular Latin American music as well. She has been an influential interpreter in the Americas and Europe, muse to figures such as Pedro Almodóvar (who is featured in the documentary, among other luminaries touched by Chavela’s art), and called “la voz áspera de la ternura” – the rough voice of tenderness.
“Mesmerizes with its impressionistic blend of archival photos, musical performances, concert footage and candid interviews with the legendary singer herself, as well with her ardent friends like Pedro Almodóvar and former lovers.” – Claudia Puig, TheWrap
“Chavela is a vivid portrayal of an artistic, social and sexual rebel whose difficult but finally triumphant life finally proved that there sometimes really are second acts in showbiz lives.” – Jonathan Romney, Screen International
“The core material is augmented with a wealth of archive footage and photographs, as well as extensive interviews with music aficionados, associates, friends, lovers and admirers.” – David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
Friday, October 13 – 5:30pm, 7:30pm
Saturday, October 14 – 12:30pm, 3pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm
Sunday, October 15 – 12:30pm, 8:30pm
Monday, October 16 – 5pm, 7pm, 9pm
Tuesday, October 17 – 5pm, 7pm, 9pm
Wednesday, October 18 – 5pm, 7pm, 9pm
Thursday, October 19 – 5pm, 7pm, 9pm