Review: ‘Separado!’

A lovably bonkers quasi-docu from Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys.

Slotted perfectly into the Los Angeles Film Festival’s “The Beyond” program, which provides asylum to uncategorizable films, “Separado!” lives up to its billing as a lovably bonkers quasi-docu from Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys (with director Dylan Goch). Nominally concerned with tracking down the singer’s mysterious uncle in South America, this sui generis film is equally devoted to travelogue, experimental music, Welsh history and the properties of a magical Power Rangers helmet, and should find appreciative festival audiences.

Serving as the film’s cheerfully unreliable narrator, Rhys recalls witnessing Welsh-Argentine guitarist Rene Griffiths perform on public TV, only to later discover they are related. This occasions a road-trip to Patagonia — he first teleports himself from Wales to Brazil, you see — to meet him, with frequent pit stops for concerts (including one for a crowd consisting entirely of wild horses), interviews with local characters and cheeky freak-out interludes. Yet even when nonstop digressions begin to test one’s patience, the film is always easy on the eyes and ears, and a dramatization of 19th-century Welsh emigration via Bollywood-style interpretive dance is worth the price of admission.




An Ie Ie Prods. production, in association with Film Agency for Wales and AV Happenings. Produced by Catryn Ramasut. Executive producer, Pauline Burt. Directed, edited by Dylan Goch. Written by Gruff Rhys.


Camera (color, HD), Goch. Reviewed at Los Angeles Film Festival (The Beyond), June 24, 2010. Running time: 84 MIN.


Gruff Rhys, Rene Griffiths, Tony da Gattora, Leonardo Jones, Alejandro Jones, Kerrdd Dant, Osian Hughes, King Creosote, Sion Glyn, Lisa Jen. (English, Welsh, Spanish, Portuguese dialogue)

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