Kumu Documentary: Cesária Évora
Location: Kumu auditorium
Dir Ana Sofia Fonseca
Portugal 2022, 94 min
In Creole, Portuguese, French and English, with Estonian and English subtitles
Ana Sofia Fonseca’s documentary about the legendary Cape Verdean singer Cesária Évora reveals the complex woman behind the rich, deeply resonant voice that catapulted her to international fame at the age of 50. Using archival film, historical photographs, old recordings and concert footage, the film captures Évora’s incredible rise and does not shy away from her troubled childhood, decades of poverty, struggles with drinking, and years-long bouts of depression. Instead, it presents these challenges with tenderness and concern.
The film offers a rare glimpse into both her tragic and triumphant experiences, and features rare interviews with those closest to her. It also captures the singer’s mischievous sense of humour, her love of Cabo Verde, her generosity to her community, and her extraordinary ability to translate emotion into melody.
Masterfully edited and beautifully shot, the film is anchored in Évora’s morna songs, and the beautiful and melancholic landscape of her home island of São Vicente in Cabo Verde. Fascinating for both devotees and those discovering her for the very first time.