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BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB

Director: WIM WENDERS

GERMANY-U.S.A.-FRANCE-CUBA • 1999 • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 105 MIN


RY COODER MUST TAKE MUCH OF THE CREDIT FOR BRINGING TOGETHER SOME OF CUBA’S GREATEST MUSICIANS TO MAKE THE HIT 1996 ALBUM ‘BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB’.
Cooder enthused about the project when he was working with Wenders on The End of Violence, and the director accompanied him with a small film crew on a return trip to Cuba in 1998 for the recording of a new album. Interviews were recorded with veterans like Compay Segundo (‘I sing, I dance, I make love,’ he declares at the age of ninety), Ruben Gonzalez (whom Cooder says ‘has played some of the best piano solos I have ever heard in my life’) and Ibrahim Ferrer. The film also follows the group to Amsterdam and New York, where they perform concerts which they appear to enjoy every bit as much as the noisily appreciative audiences. The results make for the most joyous of music documentaries, and one that’s ultimately very moving too, especially when these long neglected artists are seen taking standing ovations at Carnegie Hall.

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