If there is an artist difficult to classify, that is Francisco Contreras Molina, better known as El Niño de Elche. Musician who divides the experts, his mixture of genres and such a different way of singing have made him an icon. For this reason, it is not strange that a documentary about his life and work is produced. Although the approach Leire Apellaniz and Marc Sempere Moya do with ‘Canto cósmico. Niño de Elche’ seeks to be just as transgressive and different from what he portrays.
Actually, if there was a cinematographic genre that could be ideal for El Niño de Elche, that is the documentary, one of the freest when it comes to capturing reality through that great trompe l’oeil that is the seventh art. Apellanis and Sempere, although they have scenes that are classic declarations, combine them with other sequences that seek to capture the artistic spirit of one of the figures considered to be renovators of flamencowhich mixes various genres such as electronica, jazz, in addition to having performances that distance it from the conventional cante.
With statements by Angélica Liddell, José Val del Omar, Los Voluble, Pedro G. Romero, Israel Galván or C. Tangana; The latter especially stands out, who makes a fiery statement in defense of Contreras’s music. It is not strange, since both have collaborated on two songs, the first in 2018 with ‘Un poeta’ and then in 2020 with the song ‘Tú me dejaste de Quiero’, from the Tangana album ‘El madrileño’, in which he also participated The Hungarian.
A documentary that seeks to capture the artistic spirit of El Niño de Elche
‘Canto cósmico’ enters fully into the inspiration of the Niño de Elche to sing, who sings in a different, almost mystical way, which seems to go to the origin of the song. The artist himself explains how he feels that song, in which a return to the roots is perceived without forgetting the present. It’s not surprising that within this logic, the cantaor comes to compare going to a pilgrimage to enjoying ‘modern pilgrimages’: like a music festival like Sónar.
Free, El Niño de Elche invites the public to get to know his personal facet, in a documentary that seems to have no red lines and that seeks not only to vindicate the importance of an artist so difficult to catalog, but also the documentary as a hybrid genre, whose potential Creative continues to grow. Away from the typical music documentaries, ‘Cosmic song. Niño de Elche ‘achieves his goal of portraying a figure who knows how to show his own artistic intentions.
The best: That sensation of a free documentary away from conventionalities.
Worst: It is designed more for those fans of the singer’s music.