Caco is a proud, handsome man, head of a family, and very powerful in the local community. Yet he has been torn to pieces by the death of his beloved daughter. He constantly visits her ...
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Caco is a proud, handsome man, head of a family, and very powerful in the local community. Yet he has been torn to pieces by the death of his beloved daughter. He constantly visits her grave, weeps silently at her photo and has transferred all his wildly protective love and attention onto his physically challenged nephew, Diego. It seems that Diego's father, Caco's brother, is in hiding after having killed a man from the Caravaca family, who are equally powerful in the community. They are looking for vengeance and have come to Caco for justice. When he refuses to betray his brother, the Caravacas grow impatient. When they realize they are getting nowhere, they threaten to kill Diego. Despite his fierce pride, Caco eventually realizes that the cycle of killing and revenge must be broken. But how can he achieve this and protect everyone he loves? Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Closed the Venice Film Festival in 2000. See more »
Calle del Aire
Singer La Caita
Guitars Francisco Javier Salazar Saavedra
Cajon: Joaquím Vega Cortes
Palmas and Chorus: Alejandro Vega Arencón, Antonio Silva Vega, Luis Amaya Vega, Joaquín Amaya Vega,
Jamara Moreno Amaya and Josefa Amenez Amadór See more »
Dazzling flamenco concert wrapped in a flimsy blood feud plot.
For me there's nothing better than a film about the affairs of exotic people from other lands that is full of spirited music, no matter how flimsy the plot. "Vengo" is an exemplary case. It is the latest in a series of films about Romany people and their music made by Tony Gatlif. He brings impeccable credentials to the task: born in Algeria, raised in Marseille, his mother is Roma and his father a Berber. His best known film is the 1993 homage to Roma music, "Latcho Drom" (Safe Journey), which I have yet to see. "Vengo" is set in Andalusia, in southern Spain, in the city of Seville and surrounding villages. Here a rich tradition of Berber, Romany and Jewish origins has shaped the culture and given the world a distinctive music: flamenco. This film is best viewed as a flamenco concert featuring a number of different singers, instrumentalists, dancers and ensembles, most of whom are outrageously good. The musical numbers are connected by an insubstantial narrative, a loosely unfolding story of a blood feud, a dialectic of deaths, between two rural Roma families. Caco (the flamenco dancer, Antonio Canales, who doesn't get to dance at all here) is a bereaved nightclub owner and heavy boozer whose teenage daughter was killed by members of the Caravaca family. In return Caco's brother Mario killed a Caravaca man and is hiding in Morocco. The Caravacas now demand their turn for revenge and, in Mario's absence, let out word that they plan to murder Mario's son, Diego (Orestes Villason Rodriguez), a 20-something man who suffers from cerebral palsy. Caco dearly loves and dotes on Diego, his nephew, and is set into a crazed state by this news. The story moves toward a tragic sacrificial climax. The plot does serve to convey the essential truth that grounds the passion of these people: that suffering and death itself are inevitable counterpoints to love and family loyalty. This backdrop gives embodiment to the deep emotions expressed in the music. There is also a single very humorous scene featuring cells phones, perhaps the funniest bit about these obnoxious instruments in all of filmdom. The turn contributed by Rodriguez (as Diego) is impressive; it is welcome indeed to see a person with cerebral palsy act a major role, especially when the performance is built much more on humanity than on handicap. (In Spanish)
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