On Thursday, June 7th, 2018 at 7:00PM, Scribe Video Center presents Chavela, produced and directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi (USA, 2017, 93 min). The screening is part of Scribe’s Producers’ Forum series, which brings distinguished filmmakers and their work to Philadelphia to talk about their creative process. Director Daresha Kyi will present the film and be on hand as our special guest.
Centered around interview footage of the legendary ranchera singer Chavela Vargas, 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.
About the film Chavela
Born in Costa Rica in 1919, Chavela Vargas ran away to Mexico City as a teenager to sing in the streets. By the 1950s, she became a household name in her adopted country, delivering her performances with a raw passion and unique voice. Just as influential were her cultural contributions; Chavela was a bold, rebellious, sexual pioneer who was known for having many female lovers, including Frida Kahlo, at a time when being out in Mexico was dangerous.
Chavela centers around a 1991 interview–the singer’s first public appearance after 15 hard years lost to alcoholism and heartbreak. In the final years of her life, Chavela openly comes out as a lesbian and rises into her momentous third act, becoming a muse to filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, earning a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, and selling out performances at prestigious concert halls around the world.