Story

Our Last Tango is a documentary telling the story of Maria Nieves, who with her partner Juan Copes, became the most famous tango dancing couple in history. Maria is now 81 but she first met Juan when she was only 14 and immediately fell in love with him. Maria was passionate about, and devoted her life to, tango and to Juan. Juan, who was three years older than Maria, did not always return her devotion. Their relationship was both passionate and tumultuous. Juan admitted to seeing other women but Maria turned a blind eye to this until she discovered that Juan’s latest love was expecting a child. Juan went on to marry Miryam and had another child with her. This was devastating for Maria who had given up her hopes of having children in order to maintain her dancing relationship with Juan.

They separated for two years during which time Maria met another man but when Juan wanted to rekindle their dancing partnership, she returned to him and to tango. Maria and Juan continued their partnership for another 25 years until Miryam called an end to it.

Maria and Juan come together one more time for their final tango performance when they are both in their eighties.

Themes

Relationships; dance

Violence

Nothing of concern

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
Nothing of concern

From 5-8
Nothing of concern

From 8-13
Our Last Tango contains some themes that children in this age group could find disturbing. For example, Maria talks about her impoverished childhood during which her mother would go through rubbish bins to find bones to cook into a stew.

Over 13
Our Last Tango contains some themes that might upset some children in this age group. For example, during a difficult time in their relationship, Juan was drinking heavily. Maria says she thinks he ‘sought death’. When asked about this however, Juan says he never contemplated committing suicide.

Sexual references

Our Last Tango contains some sexual references. For example:

  • Juan says that Maria belonged to him but he didn’t belong to her. He had ‘weaknesses’ and ‘wouldn’t be a man’ if he didn’t.
  • Maria admits to having a passionate affair after Juan leaves her.
  • Maria says that when she was young it was taboo to have a child before marriage but this isn’t the case today.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Our Last Tango contains some use of substances. For example:

  • Maria smokes throughout the film.
  • Juan drinks alcohol

Nudity and sexual activity

Our Last Tango has some semi-nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Chorus girls are shown skimpily dressed and Maria says she was shocked and embarrassed when she first saw them.
  • Tango dancing is very passionate and sensual and the clothing is quite revealing.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

Our Last Tango contains some coarse language. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Our Last Tango is a documentary featuring beautifully shot choreography by young tango choreographers and dancers who play Maria and Juan in their youth. These young tango enthusiasts interview Maria and Juan to discover their story and the result is crafted into a fluid story of passion and dance. Lovers of tango will enjoy this movie, as will adolescents and adults with a love of dance. Because of the film’s themes, lack of interest for young children and the fact that it is in Spanish with subtitles, it is best suited to viewers aged 12 and over.

The main message from this movie is not to put off having a family for your career. Maria says at the start of the movie that given the chance she would do it all again and wouldn’t change a thing. She is lonely, however, at 81 and she advises young women to have their children and then continue their careers.