Separado! (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner30/07/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 84 mins

Enjoyably quirky, likeable documentary that's both entertaining and informative.

What's it all about?
When Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys discovers that Welsh-Argentine singer Rene Griffiths (who used to play Welsh songs on flamenco guitar on TV in the 1970s) is a distant relative, he decides to try and find him, so he heads for South America and travels to Brazil, Buenos Aires, Patagonia and the Argentine Andes, performing a series of local gigs along the way. Investigating the history of Welsh colonists in South America, he discovers a strong Welsh presence in several communities and meets a series of interesting people. But will he find Griffiths?

The Good
Rhys makes a likeable and engaging central presence and his passionate interest in exploring his musical heritage is infectious to watch. It's particularly charming to see him winning over the initially suspicious locals with his gigs in church halls and so on.

Director Dylan Goch maintains a decent road movie-style pace, interspersing the gigs and interviews with animated maps, stills, footage of Griffiths' tour of the UK and even a specially filmed insert that documents the incident in Rhys' distant family history that led to the emigration in the first place (something about a black sheep uncle and the fixing of a horse race). The cultural and musical links are genuinely fascinating, particularly when Rhys uncovers Argentines with distinctly Welsh surnames.

The Bad
While the film makes the most of its obviously tiny budget, it's also slightly let down by Rhys' decision to wear a Power Rangers-style helmet that supposedly allows him to travel in time and space. Whatever the reason behind it, it's both incongruous and distracting and someone should have talked him (or Goch) out of it.

Worth seeing?
Power Rangers helmet aside, Separado! is an engaging, well made documentary that's both entertaining and informative. It also has a terrific punch line. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Separado! (PG)
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Content updated: 18/10/2017 23:12

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