Daresha Kyi visited Stockholm to present Chavela, a documentary she co-directed in partnership with Catherine Gund. Chavela marks Kyi’s comeback as a film director and not only that, Chavela has also left an indelible mark in her spirit.
In this interview Daresha Kyi talks about the journey of making Chavela, how Chavela Vargas herself has become a shaman and a helper for life and future projects.
About the film: The singer Chavela Vargas had a long and influential career, making a name for herself in the golden age-era musical scene of Mexico City. She was known for her sorrowful racheras and her unique voice. In an era where lesbianism was socially unacceptable and sometimes even dangerous, she bucked tradition by dressing like a man. In her now iconic poncho, she sang songs men had traditionally sung to women without changing the pronouns. She was the most macha in a macho world.
An interview Catherine Gund filmed with Chavela in 1991 forms the basis of this documentary that was completed with co-director Kyi. Then, the singer had made a comeback from a long absence due to her battle with alcoholism and was just about to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes to stardom once again. “Chavela” takes the audience on a journey through Vargas‘ incredible career and shows the grains of truth behind the legend of the wife-stealing, cigar smoking, pistol slinging and hard-drinking sexual outlaw who became an icon throughout the Spanish-speaking world.