When the album Buena Vista Social Club was released it quickly became a worldwide phenomenon selling millions of copies internationally and winning a Grammy. When Ry Cooder travelled to Cuba again early in 1998 to record a solo album with Ibrahim Ferrer - again with all the musicians of the Buena Vista Social Club - Wim Wenders accompanied him with a small film crew, observing the musicians in the studio and tracing their lives in Havana. The film continued in the spring in Amsterdam where Buena Vista Social Club gave two concerts and ended, finally, in the summer in New York with a triumphal concert in Carnegie Hall. The result is an inspiring and uplifting story of a group of incomparable musicians recreating a bygone era with their fascinating reminisces and awesome music.
Enchanting, soulful documentary of Cuban jazz musicians
- Buena Vista Social Club review by BW
Buena Vista Social Club is an enchanting documentary by Wim Wenders of the Cuban music group that became a surprise global phenomenon in the late nineties. The film follows guitarist Ry Cooder and his musician son as they travel through Havana to meet some renowned jazz and samba musicians of the Cuban music scene. These musicians are 'getting on a bit' but as they regroup for recording their music glows with youth and energy. The shots of Havana are extraordinarily colourful as are the characters and faces of the musicians we come to meet. Watching this film years after its initial success, it can be seen as something modest, poetic and beautiful, a tribute to all concerned, not least director Wenders whose presence is so quiet here. A tender film for lovers of life and music.