“Violeta Went To Heaven” is director Andrés Wood’s eventful yet purposefully mussed and jangly telling of the life of Chilean artist, singer and activist Violeta Parra that engages with her fraught existence in time-snapping fashion but gathers its narrative around her suicide, making it the central act of her life. Francisca Gavilán’s performance as Parra is filled with exquisite, quicksilver instants even as the script paints her as an untrustworthy, selfish, self-destructive artistic cliché. Visually, the film excels, capturing a range of light in village and city and by day and by night that enriches Gavilán’s sturdy habitation of the overachieving, anxious Parra. With Thomas Durand, Luis Machín, Gabriela Aguilera, Roberto Farias. 110m. (Ray Pride)
“Violeta Went To Heaven” opens Friday at the Music Box.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor of Filmmaker magazine. He is also a photographer: his history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images is forthcoming; previews on Twitter (twitter.com/chighostsigns) as well as daily photography on Instagram: instagram.com/raypride. Twitter: twitter.com/rayPride. (Photo: Jorge Colombo.)