In this fascinating Oscar-nominated documentary, American guitarist Ry Cooder brings together a group of legendary Cuban folk musicians (some in their 90s) to record a Grammy-winning CD in their native city of Havana. The result is a spectacular compilation of concert footage from the group's gigs in Amsterdam and New York City's famed Carnegie Hall, with director Wim Wenders capturing not only the music -- but also the musicians' life stories.
When the American guitarist and producer Ry Cooder assembled a group of all-but-forgotten Cuban musicians to record an album, no one expected that the record would become a phenomenon, selling more than a million copies worldwide and revitalizing the Cuban music scene. Wim Wenders's ebullient documentary follows the group on tour from Amsterdam to New York and includes interviews with the group's main members. The music pulsates, and the pictures of Havana compare the city's grand but faded architecture with the musicians' weather-beaten faces. Stephen Holden
1999-06-04 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Buena Vista Social Club