Guitar legend Paco de Lucia agreed to collaborate with director Francisco Sanchez Varela on this documentary about his life and some of the lessons that he learned throughout six decades of devotion to Flamenco music. (He began to play the guitar at age 7 and died at 66.) The film features a series of intimate, sometimes hilarious interviews with the Andalusian master, and plenty of his amazing music. We learn about his relationship with other Flamenco greats, like the singer Camaron, and jazz musicians, like John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and Chick Corea, among others.
De Lucia plays down the concept of 'genius' and attributes success to hard work and dedication, and to learning from those around you. This is one of the main themes of the film. Another one is the tension between him and those Flamenco purists who were upset by his excursions into jazz territory, for example. By the end, however, it appears even his harshest critics had no doubt as to the unique, superlative quality of his music.
The film's production values are top notch, even if the format is rather conventional. You don't have to be a hardcore Flamenco fan to enjoy it. Even if you're a very casual listener like myself, you will find yourself inspired, perhaps even on the verge of tears. Make sure to watch it with good sound!
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