7.6/10
13,686
80 user 47 critic

Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director:

Writers:

(by), (original concept)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pina (2011)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A tribute to the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch, as her dancers perform her most famous creations.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Pina Bausch, Regina Advento, Malou Airaudo
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The life and work of photographer Sebastião Salgado, who has spent forty years documenting deprived societies in hidden corners of the world.

Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders
Stars: Sebastião Salgado, Wim Wenders, Lélia Wanick Salgado
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander
Paris, Texas (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of angels in the German capital look longingly upon the life of humans.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Otto Sander, Bruno Ganz, Peter Falk
Lisbon Story (1994)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The director Friedrich Monroe has trouble with finishing a silent b&w movie about Lisbon. He calls his friend, the sound engineer Phillip Winter, for help. As Winter arrives Lisbon weeks ... See full summary »

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Rüdiger Vogler, Patrick Bauchau, Vasco Sequeira
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A German journalist is saddled with a nine-year-old girl after encountering her mother at a New York airport.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Yella Rottländer, Rüdiger Vogler, Lisa Kreuzer
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Tragi-comic, romantic whodunnit set in a run down hotel which plays host to mentally ill people too poor to afford medical insurance.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich, Mel Gibson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After the wild life-style of a famous young German photographer almost gets him killed, he goes to Palermo, Sicily to take a break. Can the beautiful city and a beautiful local woman help him calm himself down?

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Campino, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Dennis Hopper
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A drama that investigates anxiety and disillusionment in America.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Michelle Williams, John Diehl, Wendell Pierce
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Rüdiger Vogler, Hanns Zischler, Lisa Kreuzer
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Tom Ripley, who deals in forged art, suggests a picture framer he knows would make a good hit man.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz, Lisa Kreuzer
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
Joachim Cooder ...
Himself
...
Himself
Omara Portuondo ...
Herself
Rubén González ...
Himself
Orlando 'Cachaíto' López ...
Himself
Amadito Valdés ...
Himself
Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal ...
Himself
Barbarito Torres ...
Himself
Pío Leyva ...
Himself
Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea ...
Himself
Juan de Marcos González ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

A group of legendary Cuban musicians, some as old as their nineties, were brought together by Ry Cooder to record a CD. In this film, we see and hear some of the songs being recorded in Havana. There is also footage from concerts in Amsterdam and New York City's Carnegie Hall. In addition, many of the individual musicians talk about their lives in Cuba and about how they got started in music. Written by George S. Davis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cuba | song | concert | singer | guitar | See All (13) »

Taglines:

Cubas Poesie Cubas Musik, Cubas Menschen, Cubas Poesie [The music of Cuba, the people of Cuba, the poetry of Cuba] See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| | | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Havana Rhapsody  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$127,370 (USA) (4 June 1999)

Gross:

$6,997,620 (USA) (28 January 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Buena Vista Social Club album was put together by guitarist Ry Cooder in 1997 as a means of recapturing the "lost" music of pre-revolutionary Havana. The story was later made into this movie. See more »


Soundtracks

Guateque Campesino
Written by Celia Romero
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Charming film - the people behind the music
17 October 2005 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

It's hard to imagine a better set up for a magical documentary: Wim Wenders, Ry Cooder and a group of ancient and brilliant Cuban musicians. This film tells the story of the reassembling of the Buena Vista Social Club, as a sort of composite house-band including several popular Cuban jazz musicians, most of whom had given up their musical careers long ago. Ry Cooder helped get the players together, played with them, adding his respectfully subtle guitar work to the mix, and got their album released to popular and critical success worldwide.

What I found most impressive about this film is the humility with which it was approached by Ry Cooder. Mr Cooder has done some great work in the world of music, and this must be counted among his triumphs. However, I would have to agree with Mr Cooder, that the credit for the magic of the Buena Vista Social Club was all in the chemistry and performance of its Cuban stars. To see what I mean by all of this, you should see the movie. Whether you buy the CD or see the movie first matters little. You should do BOTH.

Wim Wenders also, intelligently and appropriately, lets this story tell itself. Only occasionally does his artistry (as potent as it is) flare up - such as the scenes with the pianist (who Wenders clearly adores, and understandably so). All in all, the American / German production team on this film takes a back seat to the music, and the stories behind the musicians. I found this a refreshingly honest documentary approach and I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

My enjoyment rating is 10+. I gave the film an 9 because I am sure some will dislike either the music or the proactive approach toward Cuban/American relations. It's definitely not a film for all people. Don't watch it if Cuba brings up strong negative emotions for you.


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page