Chavela Vargas revolutionised Mexican traditional singing in the 1950s whilst challenging heterocultural norms in the process.An unabashedly out, trouser-wearing lesbian singing ranchero music typically reserved for men, she was an iconic, hugely successful figure.
With a wealth of archival and concert footage, directors Gund and Kyi navigate the peaks and troughs of her astonishing life, from initial fame to the alcoholic wilderness years, to her rediscovery by Pedro Almodóvar in the 1990s when she was selling out stadiums until her death at the age of 93 in 2012.
This screening is part of the IFI Documentary Festival 2017, running from September 27th to October 1st. Find out more about the festival here.
Notes by David O’Mahony.