Music Box Films has released a trailer, photos and poster for their upcoming U.S. release of CHAVELA!
Born Isabel Vargas Lizano in Costa Rica. Chavela ran away to Mexico City in her early teens and took on singing in the streets to make money. She became a darling of the city’s thriving bohemian club scene. She took on Mexican morals by dressing in pants, drinking tequila and smoking cigars while singing love songs intended for men, instead wooing women and refusing to change pronouns. Taking Mexican ranchera music, stripping it down and giving it gravitas was the only reason that she was able to get away with some of the things that she was doing. The deep suffering and raw passion is what people loved to hear, just as Edith Piaf and Billie Holliday with the blues.
Although she didn’t identify as a lesbian until she was 81 years old, she carefully crafted a public persona as a powerful, rebellious, free spirited outsider. A sexy outlaw, who blazed her own unique trailer. “All my life I’ve been a woman of strong character. Even as a child, I created myself by myself.”
Chavela is directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi
Chavela is the captivating look at the unconventional life of beloved performer Chavela Vargas, whose passionate renditions of Mexican popular music and triumphant return to the stage late in life brought her international fame.
Born in Costa Rica in 1919, Chavela Vargas ran away to Mexico City as a teenager to sing in the streets. By the 1950’s, 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 haing many female lovers 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 music to filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, earning a Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY, and selling out performances at prestigious concert halls around the world.
Chavela has a limited release starting on October 13th! For more information, visit the website HERE
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