Lucija Stojevic: La Chana

Antonia Santiago Amador, known as La Chana, is the unique personality of the film with the same title. It is on the top of the top ten Audience favourites at the IDFA festival that runs until tomorrow sunday included. It is a warm portrait of an exceptional woman, a flamenco dancer, the best ever, many think and express in the film, that has lots of great archive material that proves, even for a layman, who loves the music and the dance, that she was a star. And still is: the film follows her preparation for a performance, with her dancing seated. She makes it and made me cry touched by her willpower and commitment, and ability to concentrate to show to herself and her many fans that even at an age around 70, she can move her feet.

In the film, that at the beginning is a bit messy in structure, because it becomes anecdotal and jumps to and from archive, where more calm in the storytelling would have helped, La Chana tells her story from childhood till now, through a marriage that was violent from the side of her husband, a situation that made her stop the career. But she comes back – as the film comes back in rythm and flow once all the information about the past is delivered, when the story takes place in present time, where she teaches youngsters, cooks with her daughter, lives a quiet life with her Felix and a dog or goes to the square (in Barcelona I guess) to enjoy with her gypsy friends. And prepares for the performance.

A joyful and entertaining and touching work to give the many films about the problems of the world a break.

Spain, Iceland, USA, 83 mins.

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3857