Through its lyrical structure, Chavela will take viewers on an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the iconoclastic life of game-changing artist Chavela Vargas. Centered around never before-seen interview footage of Chavela shot 20 years before her death in 2012, and guided by the stories in Chavela's songs, and the myths and tales others have told about her - as well as those she spread about herself - the film weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being. Written by
Chavela is probably someone I would have shied away from had I met her in real life...from the portrait painted of her in the film. Lucky me, I got to experience her from the safe distance of the screen at this Vancouver Film Festival viewing today, and I'm so glad I had that chance. This woman wasn't easy but she was strong, provocative and unique, and her complex character and passions challenge me to relax a little certain notions I have about people. That's a profound effect for a film, encouraging a more open mind. The audience was obviously with me in enjoying her emotional intensity, her contradictions and her commitment to expressive singing...leaving it all on the floor. It was a surprising to find my common-law husband not on the same page with me, at all. He says Chavela just didn't engage him.
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