Wim Wenders

Buena Vista Social Club

Buena Vista Social Club

Traveling from the streets of Havana to the stage of Carnegie Hall, this revelatory documentary captures a forgotten generation of Cuba’s brightest musical talents as they enjoy an unexpected encounter with world fame. The veteran vocalists and instru­mentalists collaborated with American guitarist and roots-music champion Ry Cooder to form the Buena Vista Social Club, playing a jazz-inflected mix of cha-cha, mambo, bolero, and other traditional Latin American styles, and recording an album that won a Grammy and made them an international phenomenon. In the wake of this success, director Wim Wenders filmed the ensemble’s members—including golden-voiced Ibrahim Ferrer and piano virtuoso Rubén González—in a series of illuminating interviews and live performances. The result is one of the most beloved documentaries of the 1990s, and an infectious ode to a neglected corner of Cuba’s prerevolutionary heritage.

Film Info

  • Wim Wenders
  • United States, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Cuba
  • 1999
  • 105 minutes
  • Color
  • English, Spanish
  • Spine #866

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION:

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1999 featuring director Wim Wenders
  • New interview with Wenders
  • Interview from 1998 with musician Compay Segundo on his career and the world of Cuban music
  • Radio interviews from 2000 featuring musicians Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo, and others
  • Additional scenes
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by author and geographer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

New cover by Jon Contino

Purchase Options

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION:

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1999 featuring director Wim Wenders
  • New interview with Wenders
  • Interview from 1998 with musician Compay Segundo on his career and the world of Cuban music
  • Radio interviews from 2000 featuring musicians Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo, and others
  • Additional scenes
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by author and geographer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

New cover by Jon Contino

Buena Vista Social Club
Cast
Compay Segundo
Eliades Ochoa
Ry Cooder
Joachim Cooder
Ibrahim Ferrer
Omara Portuondo
Rubén González
Orlando “Cachaíto” López
Amadito Valdés
Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal
Barbarito Torres
Pío Leyva
Manuel “Puntillita” Licea
Juan de Marcos González
Credits
Director
Wim Wenders
Produced by
Ulrich Felsberg
Produced by
Deepak Nayar
Executive producer
Nick Gold
Director of photography and Steadicam operator (Cuba)
Jörg Widmer
Director of photography (Amsterdam)
Robby Müller
Steadicam operator (Amsterdam)
Jörg Widmer
Director of photography (New York)
Lisa Rinzler
Camera operator (New York)
David Waterston
Assistant camera (New York)
Richard Rutkowski
Steadicam operator (New York)
Stephen Consentino
Concert and studio recordings produced by
Ry Cooder
Concert and studio recordings executive producer
Nick Gold
Production sound
Martin Müller
Editor
Brian Johnson

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Buena Vista Social Club: A City in Time
Buena Vista Social Club: A City in Time

A group of Cuba’s most seasoned musicians became an international sensation upon the release of this acclaimed documentary portrait.


By Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

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