Top

film

Stories

 

Mercedes Sosa: An Unpersuasive Hagiography of the Beloved Argentine Folk Singer

<I>Mercedes Sosa</I>: An Unpersuasive Hagiography of the Beloved Argentine Folk Singer

In Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of Latin America, director Rodrigo H. Vila returns again and again to a close-up of a clock, like he's remaking High Noon instead of weaving together an unpersuasive hagiography of a beloved Argentine folk singer.

Mercedes Sosa rose from poverty to become an influential opponent of President Jorge Rafael Videla's military dictatorship, finally seeking refuge in Europe from 1979 until the regime collapsed in 1982.

The footage of Sosa seems to be entirely archival — she died in 2009 at age 74 — but Vila enjoyed expansive access to her family (Sosa's son, Fabián Matus, is credited with "Idea and Guest Appearance") and musical collaborators (David Byrne is the only talking head likely to be recognizable to viewers who don't follow South American music).

Location Info

Map

Cinema Village

22 E. 12th St.
New York, NY 10003

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: East Village

Details

Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of Latin America
Directed by Rodrigo H. Vila
First Run Features
Opens January 24, Cinema Village



Subscribe to the Voice Film Club podcast

Related Stories

More About

Alas, all his film can do to make its case for Sosa's significance is trot out subjects who compare her to Joan Baez, Ella Fitzgerald, and, most puzzlingly, "Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney in one," without elaboration. The footage most likely to give the uninitiated some sense of why Sosa is so adored — that of her actually singing — is invariably truncated mid-performance. We never hear her complete a song. Translating lyrics is always a dicey proposition, and my Spanish isn't strong enough to judge whether the English subtitles over the performance clips are overly literal, merely tin-eared, or deliberately Dadaesque, but their effect becomes risible.

We may never know what "Like bread, tasty to sing/In the eaves of my mind with the cicadas" means, but it seems a safe assumption that something, and possibly everything, has been lost in translation.

 
My Voice Nation Help
 

Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!

Movie Trailers

Loading...