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90 min.
Year of Production:
Catherine Gund
Production Company:
Aubin Pictures
Berlinale Section:
Berlinale Category:
Documentary Film

Singer Chavela Vargas gained a name for herself firstly in Mexico and later worldwide chiefly for her interpretation of traditional rancheras. These songs were mainly composed by men and mostly speak of unfulfilled love for women, world-weariness and loneliness. Chavela performed them with her own unique feeling for rhythm and her distinctively rough and yet vulnerable voice. Her masculine appearance and red poncho made her unmistakable. In Acapulco, which in the 1960s was the playground for the rich and famous in the world of politics and culture, she rubbed shoulders with many celebrities, turning the heads of Frida Kahlo and Ava Gardner with her charm and striking beauty. After a 13-year break from performing brought on as a result of her addiction to alcohol she was rediscovered in the 1990s and enjoyed a glorious comeback as the muse of artists and directors such as Pedro Almodóvar. The unpublished material in this film, as well as the interviews with Chavela herself and her contemporaries, colleagues and partners have resulted in an affectionate portrait of a charismatic and exceptional artist - who was openly lesbian throughout her life until her death in 2012 at the age of 93.


Born in Los Angeles, USA in 1962, she has been a filmmaker and producer for more than 25 years. She studied at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York and is part of the team of the production company Aubin Pictures.

FILMOGRAFIE Daresha Kyi (selection)

2017 Chavela  1991 Land Where My Fathers Died  1986 Just Because of Who We Are 

Interview with Catherine Gund & Daresha Kyi
Daresha Kyi @ IMDb
Catherine Gund @ IMDb
Website Chavela
Chavela trailer

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