Archive of films The Devil´s Accordion / El acordeón del diablo

Germany / Switzerland
2000, 90 min

Section: Inspired by Music
Year: 2001


Ninety-three-year-old Pacho Rada, a living legend of Caribbean music, lives in a ramshackle house in a village in Columbia. This documentary takes the viewer back to the days when he began making music. Pacho talks about his life and about travelling all over Columbia, from town to town, from festival to festival. The director records Rada’s memories about his life, supplemented by the recollections and opinions of his children and celebrated fans such as Alfredo Gutierrez and Israel Romero. Rada talks about his life with humour and objectivity, reflecting on several events that blur the borders between fact and fiction. Even though Rada is one of the founders of Caribbean music he is known primarily thanks to Marquez’ novel One Hundred Years of Solitude: he was the model for the character of Francisco El Hombre who, like Rada, had a fateful encounter one night with the devil. The director was able to capture both the atmosphere of his homeland as well as Rada’s personality and his unique approach to life.

About the director

Stefan Schwietert (b. 1961, Germany) worked as an assistant director in 1981-82 for Globo TV in Brazil. In 1983 he received a scholarship to study at the Art Institute in San Francisco, California. A year later he began studies at the German Film and Television Academy, finishing in 1990. A year later he founded Neapel Films, a production company, where he works as both director and editor. Selected filmography: Das Topolino Projekt (1986), Fulani 88, The Last Ten Days of a Campaign (1988), Fallen from the Sky (1991), A Tickle in the Heart (1994, documentary), Im Warteraum Gottes (1998, documentary), El acordeón del diablo (2000, documentary).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Inspired by Music
Director: Stefan Schwietert
Screenplay: Stefan Schwietert
Dir. of Photography: Ciro Cappellari
Music: Francisco "Pacho" Rada, Manuel Rada, Alfredo Gutierrez, Israel Romero
Editor: Tania Stöcklin
Producer: Thomas Kufus
Production: Zero Film GmbH

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