Though Costa Rican-born, singer Chavela Vargas was one of the most iconic Mexican performers of the 20th century. A pioneering spirit who reconfigured the typically masculine rancheracanción, Chavela recorded nearly 80 albums and was close to many prominent artists and intellectuals of the time, including Juan Rulfo, Agustín Lara, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Dolores Olmedo and José Alfredo Jiménez.
A new documentary on Chavela chronicles her often turbulent life and status as both a queer icon and muse for many artists, most notably Pedro Almodovar, who narrates the film. After premiering at this year's Berlinale, Chavela is screening its last week at Film Forum. Co-director Catherine Gund will be present for a Q&A following the screening on October 26th.