Women are gathered around her… She is holding court, they are laughing. The story may not be full of joy, but these are peals of joyful laughter thrown about in response to a life lived honourably. Her audience knows her, this woman describing a woman’s battle to survive. Excerpts from other pictures…

The woman charging her voice with all the sorrow in the world to sing ‘La Llorana’ in Frida… That magical voice in the films of Almodovar… This is Chavela Vargas, the legend who left her native Costa Rica at the age of 14 and found herself in the macho culture of Mexico. Muddling along with a tequila in one hand, a gun at her waist and a ‘ranchera’ song on her lips, she happened upon Pedro Almodovar in a bar one night. The chance encounter was to change the course of her life. A whole new chapter began for Chavela that would take her to large concert halls and the boulevards of Paris. The romantic feelings she had for Frida and other women, the people and cities she loved… None was more precious to Chavela than the freedom she shrewishly sought to defend. In Bohemian circles and the backstreets alike, she was always after the same spirit: life and nature, that magical rhythm undulating with love, hate, death, birth, creation and destruction.

Everything to live for is within life itself so long as there is a sweet ‘ranchera’ ringing out in the wild blue yonder…

Aslı Güneş

USA Spain Mexico
90'
2017


Editing
Carla Gutierrez

Awards
Athens International Film Festival - Golden Athens Award to the Best Documentary
Berlin Film Festival - Panorama Audience Award
Florence Queer Film Festival - Best Film Jury Award
Frameline LGBT Film Festival - Honorable Mention; Audience Award
Mostra FIRE Barcelona - Audience Award to the Best Documentary
Muestra de Cine y Mujeres en Pamplona - Special Mention of the Audience
New Renaissance Film Festival Amsterdam - Best Documentary
OutFest LGBT Los Angeles Film Festival - Documentary Grand Jury Prize; Best Documentary Feature; Audience Award
Tokyo Latin Beat Film Festival - Best Documentary

Festivals
23rd Festival on Wheels
World Cinema 2017