'Mercedes Sosa: Voice Of Latin America' Documentary To Premiere In Panama (VIDEO)

Documentary Of Latin American Legend Hits The Big Screen

'Mecedes Sosa: Voice Of Latin America'

An Argentine legend is about to hit the big screen.

“Mercedes Sosa, The Voice of Latin America,” a documentary about one of Latin America’s most popular folksingers, will debut at the Panama International Film Festival next month, Mexican news agency Notimex reports.

From a look at the trailer above, it seems like a high-energy portrayal of the singer’s life, focusing on the politics of the Argentine military dictatorship that she -- unlike the newly installed pope -- publicly challenged.

Directed by Rodrigo Vila, the film features interviews with some of Latin America’s finest singer-songwriters, including Cuba’s Pablo Milanés and Brazil’s Chico Buarque, along with former Talking Heads frontman and Latin American music aficionado David Byrne.

"Mercedes was a symbol of freedom," Buarque says in the trailer.

The daughter of a sugarcane worker in the northern province of Tucumán, Sosa grew famous for singing songs that championed the poor. Sosa identified with the political left, like other exponents of Latin America's nueva canción movement, including Víctor Jara and Violeta Parra.

Argentina’s military dictatorship, which human rights groups say killed some 30,000 people from 1976 to 1983, didn’t care for her message. The government harassed her and banned her from the nation’s airwaves, prompting her to abandon the country for Europe in 1979, according to a obituary by NPR.

“I had to leave because the military was following me too closely,” Sosa says in the documentary. “I don’t know why. I’ve never killed anyone.”

She returned to the country three years later, shortly before the military left power, where her fans welcomed her. She remained in Argentina until she died in 2009.

Check out the trailer and get to know Mercedes Sosa’s music in the slideshow above.

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