Mercedes Sosa, film about her music and life

This music video from Argentina is called Mercedes Sosa – Sólo le pido a Dios (Con León Gieco).

Another music video of this song says about itself:

Mercedes Sosa – Sólo le pido a Dios

Written by León Gieco and recorded by Sosa and Gieco in 1984, this is a song that reflects well “the voice of the voiceless ones” as she was referred to. Also known as “La Negra” (for her Diaguitan origin), Sosa performed Argentine music/folk songs, Brazilian and Cuban music as well as a tribute to Chilean poet Violeta Parra in 1971. That song, Gracias a la vida, was to become one of her signature songs.

Here, Sosa addresses the horrors of terror and war as they affect the people, the innocents, the inheritants of injustice. Throughout her career, Sosa was a social activist receiving many acknowledgements for her contributions to the fight for justice and human rights.

English translation of Mercedes Sosa’s song Sólo le pido a Dios:

All I ask of God

All I ask of God

All I ask of God

That pain does not leave me indifferent,
And that parched death will not find me
Alone and empty not having done sufficient.

All I ask of God
That I not be indifferent to injustice
That they won’t slap my other cheek,
After their talon has scraped away my luck.

All I ask of God
That I not be indifferent to war,
It’s a big monster which crushes
All the poor innocence of the people

All I ask of God
That I not be indifferent to deceit,
If a traitor can do more than the masses,
Then let not the masses forget him easily.

All I ask of God
That I am not indifferent to the future,
Hopeless is he who has to go away
To live a different culture

All I ask of God
That I am not indifferent to war,
It’s a big monster that crushes
All the poor innocence of people

This song should be played 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Pentagon in Washington DC, USA, and the ‘defence’ ministries in Tokyo, Japan and Ankara, Turkey and etc. etc., to make the warmongering work there impossible.

This video is called Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of Latin America (International Trailer in English).

On 11 October 2014, I went to see that documentary film by Rodrigo H. Vila.

An Argentine flag hang under the silver screen.

Mercedes Sosa was born in a poor working class family in Argentina. Her parents disagreed about her name: her mother called her Marta, her father prefered Mercedes.

The backbone of the film is Mercedes’ son Fabian, sharing memories of his mother and asking other people about them.

There are also many clips of concerts and interviews by Ms Sosa in the movie.

In the 1970s, Mercedes Sosa’s life was threatened. The terrorists of the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance, the AAA, threatened to kill her if she would not flee from Argentina within four days; as they did not like her anti-dictatorship and pro-poor people views.

Mercedes Sosa refused to leave the country. However, in 1979 the military dictatorship arrested her and many of her audience at a concert. International pressure freed her. However, she soon had to flee to France to prevent being assassinated.

In the film, Mercedes Sosa says that the Argentine military dictators made two mistakes with her. The first one was driving her into exile. Her concerts in many countries led to her becoming famous all over the world; making it more disadvantageous for the regime to kill her.

The junta’s second mistake was that in 1982 they allowed Mercedes Sosa to come back to Argentina. That was stupidity caused by their arrogance, Sosa said. Then, many people came to a big concert by her in Buenos Aires. One of the songs she sang there was Sólo le pido a Dios (see top of this blog post). The audience reacted with enormous enthusiasm. An Argentine musician who was at that concert says in the film that then, people thought dictatorship in Argentina would continue for many years. In 1982, he said, the only sign of democracy in Argentina was Mercedes Sosa. A year later, the military tyranny collapsed. Because of her, to a large extent.

One of the people who knew Ms Sosa, interviewed in the film, is Chilean singer-songwriter Isabel Parra. She is the daughter of Violeta Parra. Isabel’s mother and Mercedes Sosa never met; still, Violeta Parra was a major influence on her Argentine colleague.

6 thoughts on “Mercedes Sosa, film about her music and life

  1. Pingback: Argentine grandmother rediscovers her grandson, stolen by dictatorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Argentinian Falklands war veterans won’t march with dictatorship’s torturers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Macri, Trump of Argentina | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Chilean musician Violeta Parra | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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