Violeta Went to Heaven

Synopsis & Film Details

Winner of the World Cinema Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, the Chilean drama Violeta Went to Heaven tells the extraordinary life story of the acclaimed folklorist, musician, and poet Violeta Parra, whose songs have become hymns for Latin Americans all over the world. The unconventional biopic, which was selected as the Chilean entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards, traces the intensity and explosive vitality of Parra’s life, from humble origins to international fame. Parra’s defense of indigenous cultures, her devotion to art, and her meticulous fieldwork in the “Nueva Canción” movement of the 1950s and ’60s are given surreal, nonlinear treatment, based on her son’s memoir. In Spanish, French, and Polish, with English subtitles.

Post-screening Discussion Circle
Join artist and film scholar Dr. Adán Avalos to talk about the film. Avalos teaches in the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies at Fresno State. His research interests include Mexican and Latin American cinema, border music and culture, Middle Eastern cinema, and cultural memory.

Screening Sponsor: Arte Américas

Critic Reviews

Indispensably supported by Miguel Ioan Littin’s exquisite photography, Mr. Wood has created a poignant portrait of an artist unable to escape the stamp of her class or the burdens of aging.

Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times


Wood’s is the rare biography uninterested in boldfacing its subject’s social significance: No one tells Parra how she’s started a movement, or that nueva canción has become a powerful vehicle for change throughout Latin America.

Sam Adams, A/V Club