Documentary Films



A film by Michael Meert

A production by LICHTBLICK Film
in co-production with WDR/arte, TVE
in collaboration with YLE Teema, Filmstiftung NRW, MEDIA Programme

89 Minutes / Dolby SR / Color / 35mm

distribution: Edition Salzgeber

Little Lucas has grown up with Flamenco-rhythms: Nearly all of his family are musicians. But if your father is also your guitar teacher and band leader of 'Ketama', the most successful Flamenco-formation in Spain, you might want to break the mould and find a new instrument. What’s more ten-year old Lucas has got a brilliant voice.

About 50 years earlier, Lucas' grandfather, Juan Carmona, performed in Andalusian bars and night clubs as a young boy to earn money for his family. Times were hard for the Gitanos (Spanish gypsies) after the civil war and the most important thing for them was familiy – and music. And hardly any other family stamped the contemporary Flamenco like the Carmona family.

When he was 18 years old, Juan left his home town Granada to be promoted as one of the most sought after Flamenco-guitarists in Madrid, but nobody ever doubted that he would go back for his family: his brother Pepe, who would later record albums with Jazz stars like Don Cherry and Indian musicians, the women, who sacrificed their careers as Flamenco-dancers for the family, and the children. However Juan became so involved with his world tours he hardly found any time for his sons who were leading risky lives in the frenzied, drug-ridden night life of Madrid at the end of the 1970s.

But secretly Juan junior, his brother Antonio and later their cousin Josemi were cultivating their own musical style: Flamenco electrically boosted, with Arabic, Latin-American, Jazz and Rock elements. In 1986, they founded their band 'Ketama' – and soon after that stormed the charts with 'Nuevo Flamenco'. By the time Lucas is ten years old, Ketama is one of the biggest bands on the Iberian Peninsula with concerts all over the world.

There is hardly any time for Lucas' guitar lessons, so he sticks to singing. His older brother has just signed his first record contract for his own band and the whole extended Carmona family stick close together in Madrid. They meet up at home, in the Flamenco tablaos, at the concerts of musician friends or in the recording studio. But wherever they are, a guitar is always within reach.

Juan „Habichuela“ Carmona
Pepe „Habichuela“ Carmona

written and directed by: Michael Meert
producer: Carl-Ludwig Rettinger
commissional editors: WDR - Lothar Mattner, TVE - Eduardo Esquide, José Maria Albendi, YLE - Leena Pasanen
production manager: Maite Serrano
DoP: Alfonso Sanz, César Hernando, Luis G. Verdú, Claus Deubel
sound by: Victor Puertas
sound editors: James Munoz, Miguel Suarez
editor: Martin Kayser-Landwehr

Valladolid International Film Festival