Our Last Tango (12A) | Close-Up Film Review


Dir. German Kral, Argentina/ Germany, 2015. 85 mins.

Cast: Maria Nieves Rego, JuanCarlos Cope

Review by Carlie Newman

Although the documentary is basically about the break up of a relationship, it is a very sweet and tender film. Narrated mainly by Maria Nieves Rego, with Juan Carlos Copes also speaking to camera from time to time, we get a real picture of the lives of the most famous tango dancers in Argentina.

Maria tells the interviewer that she loved the tango and although her family was really poor, she danced around holding a broom and went to the dance hall in her work clothes. She met Juan when she was 14 and he 17. Maria fell in love with him and remained so all her life. They danced together and Juan put formed a dance group which performed very successfully. They married but he strayed and eventually went off on tour with five girls but not Maria. She tells the interviewer that she stuck by Juan.

He found that he needed Maria and they re-formed after two years apart and started a group in Buenos Aires but he felt extreme rage. Juan says that he was saved by Myriam, who he married, They have two children and have stayed married for 42 years. With hate in every tango step, Maria later resumed her partnership with Juan but hardly spoke; no longer was it the intimate partnership of old. Their artistic separation came many years later. Juan’s wife becomes fed up with her husband continuing with Maria as his partner and tells him to come home without Maria, which he does. Maria is very upset an speaks of a “dagger in the heart.”

Her early dream was to marry and have children , but this didn’t happen for her and in her old age she regrets not having children,

“It’s hard being alone,” she remarks. She says that she chose tango and it became too late for her to have a child.

At 83 Juan says he still needs to dance every night. We see him dance, but he is in an ordinary suit and nothing like in his young days. Now she is 83 and Juan 86 and we see than dancing together again. There is also a young couple who perform beautifully as a kind of young Juan and Maria.

Those of you who like dance, particularly the tango, will love this film. And for all who are watching the latest series of Strictly, you will be able to see what real tango looks like.