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Chamamé: The Musical Culture of Argentina’s Northeast (Chamamé: Musik & Poesie - die Kultur der nordoestlichen Provinzen Argentiniens)

Chamamé: The Musical Culture of Argentina’s Northeast
Chango Spasiuk (photo © CP Medien AG)

Here’s a question: Can you name an Argentine form of music and dance that is NOT Tango? How many of you said Chamamé? Never heard of it? That’s something this documentary intends to put right, once and for all.

Chamamé is a passionate and mysterious style of music from the heart of Argentina’s rural northeast. Brought to life over 200 years ago when the cultures of the newly arrived European settlers, the Creoles and the native Guaraí commingled, Chamamé is still widely popular today.

This poetic-musical documentary introduces the viewer to four quite different musicians: Gicela Méndez Ribeiro, a rising young singer; Alberto Bofill, self-declared ambassador of the traditional Chamamé; Monchito Merlo, who together with his band represents a very popular style; and Chango Spasiuk, the undisputed star of Chamamé, who won the BBC’s and Radio 3’s World Music Newcomer Award in 2005 and whose latest album was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in 2006.

For each of them, Chamamé is more than just music. It is their lifestyle, the element that connects them within their families and social circles and with the northeastern provinces they call their home.


Cosima Lange has been involved in performing arts since her grade school days. In 2003 she earned her degree in Production from the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. Her film Vakuum (2004, co-writer, producer) was nominated for Produzentenpreis Sehsuechte 2004 and screened at numerous film festivals, including Filmfest Munich 2004 (New German Cinema), Viareggio 2004, Sao Paolo 2004, Kolkata 2004, Houston 2005 (won: Gold Award), and Shanghai 2005. Together with Nina Klingen she founded the fliegende-fische-film production company in 2005. Chamamé marks her directorial debut.
Genre Music
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2006
Director Cosima Lange
Screenplay Cosima Lange
Cinematography Marcus Winterbauer
Inge Schneider
Cast Chango Spasiuk, Monchito Merlo, Gicela Méndez Ribeiro, Alberto Bofill
Producers Nina Klingen, Cosima Lange
Production Company fliegende-fische-film/Berlin, in co-production with CP Medien/Ludwigsburg
Length 104 min
Original Version
 Spanish
Subtitled Versions English, German
Festivals Vancouver 2007, Ghent 2007, Houston 2008
With backing from German Federal Film Board, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern

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