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.
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?
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
Unfortunately, all Cuban musicians featured in the movie have passed away. The last one was Ibrahim Ferrer, who died several weeks after performing at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. See more »
Besides the sones, guarachas and boleros (basic styles of good-old Cuban music), the beauty of this documentary relies on Wim Wenders' magnificent camera use.
It is impossible not to feel the emotion of the crowded Carnegie Hall in the climax scenes, but there are also many other images that carry the viewer to more intimate experiences of La Habana, its music and musicians. Wenders' camera takes us to the Conservatory, where pianist Ruben Gonzalez rehearses surrounded by children; or to the Egrem Recording Studio, where singers Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo look at each other's eyes while rendering one of the most beautiful boleros I've heard in my life.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?