With a worldwide premiere at Berlin Festival in 2017, this film by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi seeks to be the definitive portrait of the mythical, influential and indescribable Costa Rica-born, Mexican singer and actress Chavela Vargas, one of the greatest stars of Latin-American music, an irredeemable social rebel and undeniable precursor of feminism. Other great artistic figures from around the world (including Pedro Almodóvar, Miguel Bosé, José Alfredo Jiménez Jr., Martirio and Laura García-Lorca), colleagues and partners explain the importance and transcendence of her unique and inimitable figure, both in her artistic and personal life. In addition, the documentary includes unpublished material from her cinema work and also her private life.
Did Chavela really creep into women’s bedrooms like Ava Gardner late at night to steal them away from their husbands? Did she pack a pistol she sometimes shot off just for fun? Or have epic drinking binges with friends that started on Friday and ended the following Wednesday? Did she spend a year living with Frida Kahlo and having a passionate romance with her? Chavela’s joyful, painful, musical and deeply spiritual journey to self-acceptance is the heart and soul of this documentary. An arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being.