Film may douse flames of flamenco feud
25 February 2005, MADRID-The flamenco world hopes a biopic on which work begins next week will end a feud between the family of its greatest legend and his most famous collaborator.
25 February 2005
MADRID-The flamenco world hopes a biopic on which work begins next week will end a feud between the family of its greatest legend and his most famous collaborator.
Camarón: The Film will tell the story of Camarón de la Isla, a Gypsy singer from the Atlantic coast near Cádiz whose appetite for drugs and women rivalled Led Zepellin or the Rolling Stones at their hedonistic peak, the British daily The Guardian reported.
Since his death from cancer in 1992 his story has been retold many times.
The director, Jaime Chávarri, is basing his film on the first-hand accounts by Camarón's family, but one critical figure from Camarón's life will not be involved: Paco de Lucía, Camarón's best friend, who played guitar on a series of classic recordings in the 1970s which gave flamenco an international audience far beyond its heartlands in south-west Spain.
When Camarón died his wife, La Chispa, claimed that Lucía had cheated him of hundreds of thousands of pesetas in royalties from the records.
Camarón's friend and biographer Carlos Lenceros said the row was the result of a simple misunderstanding. "Camarón wasn't really a man for paperwork, so he never really kept track of the writing contributions that he made," he said.
But La Chispa's claims turned the Gypsy community against Lucía. As he carried Camarón's coffin through his home town, San Fernando, he was barracked by cries of "thief" and "cheat"
Afterwards Lucía signed over not only Camarón's share of the rights to the songs they wrote together, but his own too. But the wounds are still deep, and Lucía has tended to avoid any events where he might run into Camarón's family.
The film seems to be an attempt to wipe the slate clean. In Chávarri, the producers have chosen a director from outside the flamenco world, free from its complex network of loyalties and resentments.
"The film will be from the family's point of view," Lenceros said. "But I think they'll play down the row. This is a chance to set things straight."
Subject: Spanish news