VIFF 2018: Impulso

France/Spain

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      The opening montage of hypermagnetic dancer Rocio Molina signals that this is definitely not going to be a documentary about the flamenco you know.

      The young star is blindfolded and wearing spandex shorts, funky red knee socks, and knee pads as she hammers the floor mercilessly. In Emilio Belmonte’s fiery new portrait, she sometimes looks possessed on-stage; in one scene, her mother tears up while talking about how much she worries over the mental toll of her daughter’s performing. The avant-garde and improvisational directions Molina takes flamenco are just as striking. At the Seville Bienal de Flamenco, Molina slithers across a floor of white gravel, her black bata de cola dragging behind her like she’s just risen from the primordial ooze. In another piece, her skirt is a giant sheet of plastic brushing bloodlike black and red paint over canvas. Belmonte interweaves intimate scenes at her family ranch, where Molina and her musicians create their work. It coalesces as an exhilarating look at both the power of art and the new face of flamenco.

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