Flamenco Legacies and Broken Dreams
Ellen W. Echeverría and Shoko Hamano will talk about Isaki Lacuesta’s film ‘The Legend of Time’ at the Library of Congress as part of Flamenco Festival 2014.
La leyenda del tiempo (The Legend of Time, 2006) by Spanish film director Isaki Lacuesta is dedicated to the legacy of Camarón de la Isla, the legendary singer who died in 1992. The film explores the experience of two characters who occupy the same space, but live in two different worlds. Isra is a 12-year-old gipsy boy who was born on the Island of San Fernando (in Andalusia, Spain) the year that Camarón died. While he is attributed with having much singing talent, he is unable to utter a musical sound because of the recent death of his father. Makiko comes from Tokyo to San Fernando so she can learn to sing like Camarón and through the poetry of flamenco, a language that she does not understand, become more in touch with her feelings and emotions in her attempt to learn about the meaning of life. Isra dreams of leaving San Fernando and going to a far-away-place, but knows he is unable to do so. Makiko likewise comes to the realization that her dream will be unfulfilled.
The Legend of Time is the subtitle of a play by Federico García Lorca —Así que pasen cinco años. La leyenda del tiempo (After Five Years Pass: The Legend of Time)— as well as a poem within the play that has been set to music. Different arrangements of this melody, which is the unifying theme of the film, are heard throughout.
In many ways, the film reminds us of the impossible quest of Don Quixote and that of Pierre Menard, the protagonist of a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, who in the 20th century, sets out to learn 17th-century Spanish so he can write the definitive version of Cervantes’ novel.
La Leyenda del Tiempo is also the name of the flamenco trio that Camarón de la Isla founded with guitarists Paco de Lucía and Tomatito. Tomatito and his Sextet will be performing at the 2014 International Flamenco Festival, at Lisner Auditrium on March 18.
- Ellen W. Echeverría, independent scholar.
- Shoko Hamano.
This program is part of Flamenco Festival 2014, produced by Miguel Marín.