SXSW Film Reviews

This celebration of the Gypsies of Spain blends documentary and narrative styles to create a unique film, one which uses a simple story to tell volumes about a culture often misunderstood by the masses

Vengo

D: Tony Gatlif; with Antonio Canales, Orestes Villasan Rodriguez. (35mm, 95 min.)

This celebration of the Gypsies of Spain blends documentary and narrative styles to create a unique film, one which uses a simple story to tell volumes about a culture often misunderstood by the masses. Vengo begins as a tale of remorse among rival families (both mourning recent deaths) and evolves into a cautionary tale of revenge as one family accuses the other of murder. Gatlif places much of the action among the townsfolk of Andalucia, often taking a break from the narrative to showcase the festive parties, singing, and dancing of the locals. These interludes (most of which are improvised) bring the characters to life, capturing the passion and anger that propels such artistic expression with vibrant visuals and a spirited flamenco soundtrack. This ethnographic study gives way to narrative development, building to a climax that resonates long after the credits roll. The two parts of the film might seem an unnatural fit at first, but the ultimate product is an unexpected commentary on machismo and temperance. (CC, 3/17, 9:45pm)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Questioning How We Embrace Mortality in <i>She Dies Tomorrow</i>
Questioning How We Embrace Mortality in She Dies Tomorrow
Director Amy Seimetz new film is death positive

Jenny Nulf, July 31, 2020

<i>Pet Sematary</i> Remake to Close SXSW Film
Pet Sematary Remake to Close SXSW Film
Midnighters, Festival Favorites, plus shorts all announced

Richard Whittaker, Feb. 6, 2019

More Screens
Austin Artist Brings Gamera to Vibrant Life in a New Box Set
Austin Artist Brings Gamera to Vibrant Life in a New Box Set
Matt Frank builds the perfect monster

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 28, 2020

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Richard Whittaker, March 15, 2013

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

sxsw film, Vengo, Tony Gatlif

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle