The Devil's Accordion

Movies, Documentary
Slick documentary about the (then) 92-year-old Colombian accordionist, singer and songwriter Pacho Rada. He not only invented the musical style son, he also purportedly survived a legendary encounter with Satan himself. The latter claim points both to a (justifiable) sense of pride and self-satisfaction in the old man, and to the odd mix of Christianity and pagan superstition in Colombian village life. But having touched on this cultural factor, the film largely ignores it. Ditto its treatment of Colombia's drug barons. Mainly the film shows elderly men playing, singing and smiling at each other while others listen and dance; many clumsily staged scenes (forlornly meant to evoke 'actuality') suggest the European film-makers, maybe hoping to emulate the success of Buena Vista Social Club, are resorting to 'we're poor but happy 'cos we got rhythm' stereotypes.

By: GA

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Stefan Schwietert
Screenwriter: Stefan Schwietert
Cast: Francisco 'Pacho' Rada
Alfredo Gutierrez
Manuel Rada Oviedo
Rafael Valencia
Israel Romero
José 'Morre' Romero
Antonio Jaramillo
'El Perro Negro'
José Villadiego Ospino
'Mambo'
Petrona Martinez