There is no doubt that if there was a group that made history by triumphing with the arrival of democracy and the start of the Transition, it was Tequila. Before the Movida and long before names like Alaska and Dinarama or Mecano emerged, it was this band that brought shine to a Spain that came from a gray period and that in the six years they lived marked an entire generation, Currently becoming a symbol of the Transition in cultural terms and whose themes have managed to transcend pop culture.

Hence It is not strange that the Cantabrian filmmaker Álvaro Longoria wanted to carry out a retrospective of the group’s history with ‘Tequila: Sex, drugs and rock & roll’. Presented at the 70th San Sebastián Festival and at the 67th Seminci in Valladolid, the documentary film takes a tour of the band’s glorious years, as well as its darkest moments, the reasons for its separation and confessions of those members who are still alive and how Tequila has reunited for several farewell concerts, the last ones in 2021.

Although the tape says that the documentary is narrated by the actress Cecilia Roth, Ariel Rot’s sister, she really acts as one more commentator on a production that follows the conventional statement documentary scheme. Although the interpreter does not become the master of ceremonies in this story, she is a fundamental figure for the filmsince he lived in first person a good part of what happened in Tequila and of those glorious years and the subsequent disagreements that led to its dissolution.


Looking back with maturity and accepting the passage of time

Longoria does documentation work typical of a music proposal. Although he hasn’t had direct access to concerts in the way that León de Aranoa did with ‘Sentiendo lo mucho’ (which explores the life and work of Joaquín Sabina); the director of ‘The Propaganda Game’ and ‘Sanctuary’ does gets the living members of the band to speak honestly on camera, admitting their past mistakes as well as their virtues, looking with his own hindsight given by years and experience. It is that point that makes the tape a remarkable outreach exercise.


And this is seen more clearly in the shadows that the group had, how the discussions broke out and how the drugs ended up consuming its five members and how two of them died as a result. The film lives up to the name and remembers these figures as the legends of rock in Spanish that they are, it is the moments of confidentiality between Ariel Rot, Alejo Stivel and Cecilia Roth that the film flows most naturally. It also allows us to see how both of them, friends since they were children, knew how to smooth things over with the passage of time and how that farewell concert tour in 2021 served more as a reunion than as a final goodbye.

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For the more profane, it serves as an exercise in musical and historical dissemination, since songs like ‘Salta’ or ‘Rock & roll in the Plaza del Pueblo’ have become hymns of popular culture, quite a feat for a band that made history. For fans, it will be a moment of reunion with some artists who know how to look back, dosing nostalgia and accepting the passing of time and the mistakes of youth with honesty and maturity. A film that also serves as a portrait of the devastating effects of one of the worst epidemics experienced in the 80s, heroin. Longoria once again demonstrates his affinity with non-fiction with an accurate proposal that comes to fruition in its intentions.

Note: 8

The best: The honesty that exists in the testimonies of Ariel Rot, Alejo Stivel and Felipe Lipe, the three survivors of the original formation.

Worst: It is still a statement documentary, it will not be liked by those looking for a more innovative experience.


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