Supported by abundant footage, old and new, of spectacular dance and outstanding flamenco music, this intimate portrait is a loving tribute to the legendary gypsy dancer whose passion burns as strongly as ever.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2017
‘La Chana’, the living legend of Spanish flamenco dancing, surveys the emotional rollercoaster of her tough life and remarkable career in a documentary that mixes highly personable interview footage with a lifetime’s worth of flat-out amazing performance clips. Has anybody else anywhere ever moved their feet with such speed, expression and passionate intensity?
“La Chana is an admiring, even adoring portrait of a strong-willed female performer rising above the restrictions of the patriarchal society into which she was born. In the case of La Chana – also known as Antonia Santiago Amador – this was the fiercely traditional gypsy society of Franco-era Spain, as personified by her brutally possessive [first] husband...
The shadowy husband turned down Hollywood offers and effectively forced La Chana into an early retirement, from which she emerged triumphantly via a 1977 TV special... In her late sixties at the time of filming, the dignified, dowager-like La Chana has mobility issues but is still very much a ‘force of nature’ . She retains just enough ‘strength, speed and soul’ – the crucial elements of flamenco – to be coaxed into one last show.”— Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter