© NFP/Filmwelt

France 2016

Opening 10 Aug 2017

Directed by: Lisa Azelos
Writing credits: Lisa Azelos
Principal actors: Sveva Alviti, Riccardo Scamarcio, Jean-Paul Rouve

This is the film biography of an almost-forgotten French popular music star of the sixties and seventies. Dalida (Alviti) was the stage name of Iolanda Gigliotti, born in 1933 in Cairo of Italian parents. The film traces her rise to fame with titles like Bambino (1956) and development into a major popular artist with Il venait d’avoir 18 ans, Gigi l’amoroso and Paroles Paroles

Dalida had a distinct tremulous voice suitable both for chanson, bossa nova and her later ventures into disco music, and hearing her recordings was a real discovery for me. However, her heartthrob kind of song sounds a little outdated now, and her cover versions of hits like Besame Mucho seem redundant and not particularly original.

Dalida’s private life, her deep insecurity and mood swings, her choice of multiple unsuitable partners - all of this was deeply depressing to watch in such compressed form. I felt as if I had overdosed on too many copies of Paris Match after watching Alviti working through it all for 124 minutes. So predictable, so sad.

I do recommend Dalida, though, for remembering a star with an international career and a beautiful voice.    (Ann Gebauer-Thompson)

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