Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
Carlos Saura, a veteran chronicler of Latin music and dance, turns his attention to Argentina to record an all-star cavalcade of contemporary folklore performers. Largely filmed in a warehouse turned soundstage in La Boca, Buenos Aires, Saura’s film is simply intent on displaying exceptional dancers and musicians in action. Using a complex series of mirrors to capture the artists without impeding them, Saura creates some impressive visual choreography of his own. Performances of traditional Argentine folk songs from revered vocalists such as Soledad Pastorutti and El Chaqueño Palavecino, not to mention archival tributes to Atahualpa Yupanqui and the great Mercedes Sosa, provide spine-tingling testimony to the vitality of the country’s rich cultural history.
“We want to show, through music and dance, Argentina’s traditional cultures and the country as a whole. The visual action centres around the various regions that make up Argentina and that, in turn, form a map of musical variants such as carnavalito, zamba, chacarera, the couplet, chamamé, the tonada and many other expressions rooted in the geography and soul of the various communities.” — Carlos Saura