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Tango & Cinema: Tangos, the Exile of Gardel

A tangemedy that combines tango, tragedy and comedy.

Tangos, the Exile of Gardel is one of the best couples conformed by tango and the seventh art. The film that was presented in 1985, directed by Fernando Solanas, is a model composition of tango that levitates in Argentinian History.

The movie’s main theme gravitates towards the sufferings of a group of Argentine artists that must emigrate in times of Argentine military dictatorship. After arriving to a melancholic Paris they have to reinvent themselves as musicians. And it is there where they decide to compose a tanguemedy: a combination of tango, tragedy and comedy.

As the movie develops, its director, Solanas, manages to include some spots of surrealism and interesting apparitions of characters that aren’t chronologically correct, such as Carlos Gardel, Enrique Santos Discépolo and José de San Martín.

Featuring music from the great tango master Astor Piazzolla, the tape exposes a magnificent soundtrack, which earned the movie several nominations and awards, inlcuding Best Original Soundtrack in the 1985 Cesar Awards, given by the French Cinema Academy.

José Luis Castiñeira lyrics meet Piazzolla ́s music beautifully in songs like Tango-Tango, Hijos del Exilio, Solo or Los Tangos del Exilio. The song Tango-Tango is heard throughout the entire movie and it serves as a social criticism towards Argentina:

Tango, tango
a country that helps me to live
and that respects me
though you carry a pacifier
A country that doesn’t lose its sense of humor
that learns to laugh
instead of repressing

Tangos, the Exile of Gardel, is an artistic reference of music, choreography, history and drama. It is, therefore, a must in the tango cinema recommendation list.


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