EL ACORDEÓN DEL DIABLO

EL ACORDEÓN DEL DIABLO tells the story of that great old man of Caribbean music, Pacho Rada. It is the tale of a singer and composer who first held an accordion at the age of four and was never to let go of it again. A man who throughout his life travelled around Colombia, moving from village to village and from party to party, singing and playing for a few centavos. He's 93 now and lives in a corrugated iron shack on the outskirts of Santa Marta in Colombia, whilst his songs climb up the hit parades.

This film embarks with Pacho Rada on a journey along the Caribbean coast of Colombia, voyaging into the world of musicians and singers who have grown up with Salsa, Cumbia and Vallenato. The musician who transformed Colombian Cumbia and bullfight tunes into a fiery big band sound, Alfredo Gutierrez, also performs in the film. And then there is the undisputed star, Israel Romero, king of Vallenato, hurling himself into a breathtaking virtuoso accordion duel with his nephew El Morré.

Although Pacho Rada is one of the founding fathers of Caribbean music, he actually became famous through a book. Gabriel Garcia Marquez paid tribute to him in the novel, "One Hundred Years of Solitude". The figure of the troubadour, Francisco El Hombre, who one night has a fateful encounter with the devil, is modelled on Pacho Rada. In an accordion duel fought out to the bitter end, the troubadour gets the better of the devil and saves his own soul.

The boundaries between dream and reality are blurred in Pacho Rada's tales, just as they are in Marquez's novels. The daily struggle to survive in Colombia is just as real to Pacho Rada as fables and fairy tales. The film enters into both these universes with him, exploring a country torn asunder by poverty and violence and a fantastic realm of legends and captivating music.