I first saw this film in the company of my own flamenco instructor, who actually rented it and brought it to my home. She had studied flamenco throughout her childhood in Spain, and as an adult performed professionally for many years, both in the United States and in Spain. Having her expert commentary as we watched the film together was fabulous, as she was able to explain who most of the dancers/singers are (all are highly respected and well-known artists) and how they are regarded in the flamenco world (traditionalist, modernist, etc.) as well as the many nuances and subtexts to the performances.
While the historical and biographical information supplied by my instructor enhanced my first viewing, the film absolutely captivated me on a purely visual basis. The direction and design of Carlos Saura is brilliant. In fact, if I were a filmaker I would be "borrowing" his design for my own projects! Using an abandoned railway station as his backdrop, simple screens and lighting frame and enhance the performances. And the performances, both singing and dancing, are fantastic. I will admit, the singing was somewhat of an acquired taste, but by the 4th or 5th time I watched this DVD (I purchased it immediately after my first viewing), I was enjoying the singing as much as the dancing. I think my absolute favorite performance however is when the very young Farruquito (now one of the current flamenco superstars) performs with his grandfather, the legendary flamenco master El Farruco. His pride, and love, for his grandson, and the heir to his artistic legacy of flamenco puro, is very palpable, and very poignant.
If you are a true fan of flamenco, you probably already own this DVD, as the original film was made over ten years ago. However, if you have only a passing interest in flamenco, and only plan to see one film, then I absolutely recommend this one. It unites the sheer artistic brilliance of performer and director into a truly remarkable event.