SIFF presents...

SIFF: Red Gringo

  • Saturday, June 11, 2016 6:00PM
  • All Seats: $13.00

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After signing with Capitol Records in the early 1960’s, Colorado-born singer Dean Reed found success at home elusive, but became a pop sensation in Latin America. While touring Chile, he underwent a surprising political transformation that earned him the nickname “The Red Elvis.”

Raised on a chicken farm in rural Colorado and blessed with matinee-idol good looks and enough talent to get his foot in the door, no one could have predicted the curious, wholly unexpected career path of North American singer Dean Reed. Signed with Capitol Records in the early ’60s and groomed for bubblegum-pop stardom, numbers like “My Summer Romance” found little attention in the U.S. but were massive in Latin America. In 1962, with hopes of cashing in on his international popularity, Reed begins touring to a giant following in Chile, where he settles into a second home and undergoes a surprising, controversial political transformation. Director Miguel Ángel Vidaurre’s self-described “pop memory exercise” is a colorful, whirling kaleidoscope of archival footage centering on “The Red Elvis”‘s leftist political awakening. Old photographs, interviews, concert footage, and other unpublished material is effectively used to chronicle Reed’s career as a Socialist pop superstar and his mysterious 1986 death outside East Berlin. With its subject equal parts Elvis Presley and Pete Seeger, Red Gringo is a fascinating documentary tracing the rise of an All-American pop singer inexplicably turned Communist icon.

Director Biography: Chilean filmmaker Miguel Ángel Vidaurre has won awards for his Oscuro-Iluminado (2008), Limbus (2009), and the documentary Marker 72 (2012). He is currently working on the television series “The Children of the Führer.”

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