Born Isabel Vargas Lizano in Costa Rica, Chavela Vargas (1919-2012) ran away to Mexico City as a teenager to sing in the streets. By the 1950s, she had formed a new genre of Mexican ranchera music, delivering her performances with a unique raw passion and voice. Just as influential was her public persona; Chavela was a bold, rebellious pioneer and sexual outlaw who stood in her truth at a time when being 'out' was not only socially unacceptable, but often dangerous. Chavela centers around an interview conducted in 1991, as the singer returns to the stage after 12 hard years lost to alcoholism and heartbreak. At the age of 71, Chavela rises like a phoenix as she begins her third act of life, during which she achieved international fame, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Grammys, and became a muse to many, including filmmaker Pedro Almodovar. Guided by her unique voice, Chavela weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being.
Opening Oct 3