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.
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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
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 »
This movie was a must for me, not for cinematographic reasons but for the piece of music history it contains. I had heard Ibrahim Ferrer was coming to Romania with Buenos Hermanos Tour. So I tried to find out all about the Buena Vista history. I have found Cuba a far away, resolute place, nevertheless glamorous and melancholic. Popular Cuban music is an absolute jewel that had to be forgotten even in its' own country and then brought back into the limelight by the likes of Cooder and Wenders. Cooder is a scavenger that wanders the exotic musical destinations for the next big hit. The film is centered too much on Cooder, and I find the time allotted to Ibrahim, Omara, Compay, Barbarito, Cachaito and the others (the real musical giants) unsatisfactory. You only get a glimpse and then have to run away for the next character... Yet, Wenders manages to catch the sweetness in the Cuban relaxed lifestyle, beautiful Rembrandt-like sunshine coming through leaves and a touch of history and relaxed musicians in the act of recollecting.
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