1976, Julio Jaramillo, the most famous pasillo singer in history, the Nightingale of America, comes out of hiding in order to fulfill previously arranged engagements in Guayaquil, the biggest city in Ecuador. The excitement is palpable as Jaramillo takes the stage in front of a loving crowd that cheers with all the emotion they can handle. But this time around Julio’s voice betrays him; it’s weak, sick, only a notch above the voice of a cantina drunkard. As he finishes the song accompanied by horrible booing, Julio realizes he might have lost his gift: the voice that took him out of poverty and into the stratosphere of success in Latin America. Julio is about music and creation, about an artist trying to win back the love of his people through his music. It is the intimate comeback story of a popular idol. And it’s all true.
Julio Jaramillo is a complex and charismatic character; moving constantly, always running, mainly from himself. I feel the best way to portray this complexity is to do it simply: an objective camera, a stoic and controlled witness to the character’s internal struggle. I am very interested in working with natural light and a low contrast image that in an uncontrived fashion will convey the feeling of the period, letting the temperature of the coast of Ecuador and its architecture tell the story of a beautiful, flawed spirit.