Queer heroes don’t come more captivating than Chavela Vargas – rumoured lover of Frida Kahlo and Ava Gardner; bold, rebellious, sexual pioneer; raw, passionate performer.
Chavela is a fascinating look at the unconventional life of the beloved singer, whose fiery renditions of Mexican popular music and triumphant return to the stage late in life brought her international fame.
Born in Costa Rica in 1919, Vargas ran away to Mexico City as a teenager to sing in the streets. By the 1950s, she had become a household name in her adopted country for both her enthralling voice and her beauty. The film centres around the singer’s first public appearance after 15 hard years lost to alcoholism and heartbreak. At 81, in the final years of her life, Chavela 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.
Screening as part of Outburst Queer Arts Festival. Outburst brings you the very best in new queer cinema - see the full film programme here.
Visit outburstarts.com for details of the full festival programme which takes place from 9-18 November.