Buena Vista Social Club

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Released 1999

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Movie Summary

Director:
Wim Wenders
Released:
1999
Rating:
G
Buena Vista Social Club is an award-winning music documentary that celebrates the long-forgotten, but still resonant music of Cuban folk musicians. When the United States and Cuba reached a political impasse after the Communist revolution, the cultural exchange between the two nations was also lost. In 1996, American musician Ry Cooder traveled to Cuba to gather together a troupe of artists to record an album of the music he remembered from the 1940s and 1950s. The result was a Grammy winning collection that resurrected their careers with a world-wide tour and a triumphant concert at New York's Carnegie Hall. Director Wim Wenders captures these aging singers and instrumentalists, some as old as 90, as they rehearse and perform, as well as their reflections on their lives before and after the embargo in Cuba. The performers include trumpeter Manuel "Guajiro'' Mirabel Vasquez, guitarist Eliades Ochoa, bass player Orlando "Cachaito'' Lopes Vergara, laud player Barbarito Torres and singer Manuel "Punitillita'' Licea.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    The concert scenes find the stage awash in such intense joy, camaraderie and nationalist pride that you become convinced that making music is a key to longevity and spiritual well-...

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Being able to hear this kind of playing is a special moment in time, one we don't want to end and one that we're privileged to experience.

  • 80

    Variety Eddie Cockrell

    Wenders lets the music and the sprightly people who make it speak for themselves, although the director's ongoing fascination with the urban environment is in top form as the camer...

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Categories

Arts, Documentary, Drama, Music

Themes

Historical, Culture