MDC's Tower Theater

MDC's Tower Theater

The story of an unforgettable music icon

A film by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi
Cast: Pedro Almodovar, Elena Benarroch, Miguel Bosé, Alicia Elena Pérez Duarte y Noroña, Liliana Felipe, Patria Jiménez Flores, Laura García-Lorca.

USA, Mexico, Spain/ 2017/ 93 min./ Documentary/ Rated/
In Spanish with English Subtitles

Co-Director Daresha Kyi will be present at the screenings indicated below!

Saturday, October 28, 7:00pm, Q&A after the film
Saturday, October 28, 9:30pm, Intro before the film

Through its lyrical structure Chavela takes viewers on an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the life of iconoclastic, game-changing artist Chavela Vargas. Chavela’s relaxed, conversational tone as she chats with a group of young lesbian admirers in footage Catherine shot in 1991 offers viewers a rare, intimate look at this iconic singer at a pivotal time in her journey. Having just returned to the stage after 12 hard years lost to alcoholism, and a painful breakup with the love of her life, the interview occurs just before she heads to Spain where she’ll rise like a phoenix from the ashes. 

Strong, funny, and vitally alive, she was in her prime at 71. This unique interview serves as the spine running throughout Chavela, which explores her fascinating life from her birth in Costa Rica to her everlasting presence on earth in the form of passionate love songs and deep relationships that people will never forget.

Executive Producers: Lynda Weinman, Bruce Heavin
Producers: Catherine Gund, Daresha Kyi
Cinematography: Catherine Gund , Natalia Cuevas, Paula Gutierrez
Music: Gil Talmi
Editing: Carla Gutierrez

"Donald Trump’s ultimate nightmare – a Mexican lesbian diva who can wring your very soul." /Jonathan Romney, The Guardian:  
Full Review

“A trailblazing free spirit whose appetite for tequila and women was as legendary as her soul-stirring vocals...” – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter": 
Full review

“Legendary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas receives justifiably laudatory treatment in this documentary celebrating her refusal to compromise together with her musical brilliance.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety: 
Full Review

2017 Berlin International Film Festival: Official Selection 
2017 HotDocs: Official Selection
2017 Outfest Los Angeles: Winner, Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature.
2017 Frameline41 San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival: Winner, AT&T Audience Award for Best Documentary and Honorable Mention Jury Award.


  • Saturday - 10/28/2017
  • 7:00 PM, 9:30 PM

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