I thought this film was just OK until thinking about it the next day. Forget the annoying current day imitators, the real Antonio Machin was a titan, "un hombre feo" full of determination for his art, and sweetness under his tough exterior. This is a far from perfect depiction of the life of the man, a Cuban singer whose career spanned more than fifty years. Too many testimonials, not enough Machin. Was that all the video of him they had? His own versions of his songs make the other singers seem quite tepid. I loved the part when he was asked if he was "camp": he answered with a sneer, "Yes, if it means I stick by my melodies and my sentiment, then I am Camp."
And I loved the older ladies in the Barcelona market whose memories of Machin were of "an ugly dark man" whom they found quite charming. Be sure to check out Machin's early work, much more exciting and idiosyncratic than the later lovable schmaltz.
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