“Creation is a bird without a flight plan,” the singer, artist and folklorist Violeta Parra (1917–1967) once said. “It never flies in a straight line.” It’s fitting, then, that this film about one of Chile’s heroes goes beyond linear biography, to present a poetically episodic portrait of a woman whose songs, like Edith Piaf’s, echoed the soul of her nation. Key moments of Parra’s life — from her impoverished childhood to her international stardom — are beautifully woven together, like one of her own tapestries. At the core of the film is a rapturous performance by Francisca Gavilán, who brilliantly captures the essence of Parra’s magnetic, tempestuous and self-contradictory being.
(110mins) | Chile
Spanish, Polish and French, with English subtitles
Andrés Wood was born in Chile in 1965. He graduated with a degree in economics from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 1988, and then from New York University Film School in 1991. He made his first feature film, Football Stories, in 1997. Violeta Went to Heaven is his sixth and most recent feature.