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Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

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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

Complete credited cast:
Compay Segundo ... Himself
Eliades Ochoa ... Himself
Ry Cooder ... Himself
Joachim Cooder Joachim Cooder ... Himself
Ibrahim Ferrer ... Himself
Omara Portuondo ... Herself
Rubén González Rubén González ... Himself
Orlando 'Cachaíto' López ... Himself
Amadito Valdés Amadito Valdés ... Himself
Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal ... Himself
Barbarito Torres ... Himself
Pío Leyva Pío Leyva ... Himself
Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea ... Himself
Juan de Marcos González Juan de Marcos González ... 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

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 »
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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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,997,620, 30 January 2000
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

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Charlize Theron/Paul Simon (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Chan Chan
Written by Francisco Repilado
See more »

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User Reviews

Spirit Defined
30 June 1999 | by dvealeSee all my reviews

Loving Wim as I do, I was intrigued to see what he could achieve with this group of stellar musicians.

In a word, Greatness.

Having this group of warm, vital and oh so talented people sure helped him out. What is captured, for me, is the incredible staying power of true, heart felt music. These people sing, play and dance with a sense of worship. Having seen many hard times and passed through trials and tribulations (that we in the US have little understanding for) these people through faith and belief, persevered and continue to shine like diamonds.

Wim also conveys an old world beauty in a place run over by westernization. The surf smacking the coast line and spraying the ol' 50's cars racing down the road. The streets at night dimly lit, allowing the colors to permeate your senses. You feel like you can taste the blues and touch the pinks. The bright afternoon sun, sparkling among the ruin of buildings long forgotten to some but revered still by others. A magical yet very real place is given to us to explore in this film. I, along with many others, have an overwhelming urge to go to Cuba now and experience for myself.

If you have a chance to see any of these musicians live, DO SO! You will not be disappointed. If you do not, see this movie and get yourself a taste that will leave you breathless for more.


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