Red Gringo

Chile submitted the North American Premiere of this documentary to the 2016 Seattle International Film Festival. "Rojo Gringo" (English captions), introduces us to a little-known pop singer from Colorado who first surfaced in 1962. Elvis had come back from the army and was influencing America's music.

Writer/director Miguel Angel Vidaurre, along with director Will Roberts have  assembled an awkward collection of news clippings, musical interludes and personal comments about Colorado-born Dean Reed, a handsome fellow who noticed he received more fan mail from South America than he did from his own United States. When he ventured to Chile, he was overwhelmed by his reception, plus what he saw of the social and political issues there. He quickly learned Spanish and began a series of concerts and other personal appearances throughout Latin America.

We watch:
  • Dean Reed said he learned people are divided into three categories: blind, status quo, or wealthy capitalists. From that statement you can see he became a political activist and made it a lifetime career.
  • José Roman is a iconic Latin American star Reed admired.
  • Gonzalo Planet is the DJ who remembers how unimpressed he was by Reed's musicality, but how very impressed he was by the crowd's reaction to him.
Eventually, as Reed's politics became well known, he was sometimes called "The Red Elvis." We see clips of him in Red Square, in many concerts, some bits from a couple of movies and generally become mildly fond of him (he IS a treat to the eye!). In my opinion, this made the most of a charming but mediocre entertainer and the eccentric lifestyle he embraced.