In this intimate portrait, world music star Cesária Évora (1941-2011) emerges as an anti-diva, a singer who, partly by performing barefoot, never forgot her poor origins. She was a singer with a deeply melancholic voice 'that comes from her innermost being, her life and her country', as someone in the film says. That country is the tropical Cape Verde, where Évora ended up in an orphanage as a ten-year-old, because her mother was unable to raise six children after the death of her husband. She left after a few years and became a bar singer… ‘Cesária Évora’ uses archival footage, concert recordings, interviews, and images of Cape Verde to sketch a picture of a woman who always remained herself and never gave up her independence.
‘Portuguese filmmaker Ana Sofia Fonseca assembles a loving portrait of the late-blooming singer, who found success at 50 and wowed international audiences with her seductive mix of longing and world-weariness… The emotional weight of the behind-the-scenes footage [brings] us startlingly close to a complicated and charming musical titan’—Kimberley Jones, The Austin Chronicle