7.6/10
15,643
84 user 58 critic

Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

Trailer
1:36 | Trailer
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:

Wim Wenders

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Octavio Calderon Octavio Calderon ... Himself - Musician
Joachim Cooder Joachim Cooder ... Himself
Ry Cooder ... Himself
Angel Terry Domech Angel Terry Domech ... Himself
Ibrahim Ferrer ... Himself
Ibrahim Ferrer Jr. Ibrahim Ferrer Jr. ... Himself
Manuel Galbán Manuel Galbán ... Himself - Musician
Hugo Garzón Hugo Garzón ... Himself
Carlos González Carlos González ... Himself
Juan de Marcos González Juan de Marcos González ... Himself
Rubén González Rubén González ... Himself
Pío Leyva Pío Leyva ... Himself
Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea ... Himself
Orlando 'Cachaíto' López ... Himself
Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal ... Himself
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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

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 »
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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

Germany | USA | UK | France | Cuba

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

4 June 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Havana Rhapsody See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$127,370, 6 June 1999

Gross USA:

$7,002,182

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,141,199
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wim Wenders got the idea to make this documentary when he was working with Ry Cooder on the score for The End of Violence (1997) and Cooder started telling him about his involvement with these elderly Cuban musicians. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.43 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Buena Vista Social Club
Written by Orestes López
Licensed by Peer Musikverlag GmbH
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Flawed, yet touching and ultimately beautiful work
4 March 2000 | by TexasguySee all my reviews

Is this film perfect? By all means, no. In places the camera work waves out of control, and the constant featuring of Ry Cooder grows tedious. Yet despite all of this, there are certain images that this film captures that have refused to leave my mind. I get chills just thinking about Eliada Ochoa tearing up during her rendition of "Silencio" as she is filmed before an audience of thousands in Stockholm. I will never forget Ruben Gonzalez sitting at his piano basking in applause. And, of course, seeing Ibrahim Ferrer walk through the streets of midtown Mannhattan in utter awe is enough to make any man choke up. Though flawed, this picture never fails to stand as moving testament to the triumph of the human spirit. For these beautiful moments alone, I give this poignant film a 10.


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