Buena Vista Social Club

Watch Buena Vista Social Club

"In Havana, music isn't a pastime, it's a way of life."
  • G
  • 1998
  • 1 hr 45 min
  • 7.6  (20,247)
  • 81

Buena Vista Social Club is an engaging documentary set in Cuba during the mid-1990s. The film melds the daily struggles of the average Cuban with the joyous celebration of the long-time musicians in the film such as Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, and Eliades Ochoa. Legendary American musician Ry Cooder explores the Cuban genres of music such as Son and documents the making of the album called Buena Vista Social Club that became a huge success in Latin America, and also in the United States where it won a Grammy.

The film is directed by Wim Wenders and showcases the stark and beautiful scenery of the island along with the melancholic but compelling musical sounds of the soneros in the background. Cooder's smooth slide guitar renditions of his experience can be heard throughout the film as well.Interviews are included with the artists along with an interesting and sometimes humorous interlude where they are allowed to travel to the United States for a sell out concert in New York City. Immediately they are astonished with the contrast from their lives back on the island, and enjoy the chance to share their music with a new audience from a different world.

Buena Vista Social went on to critical acclaim as a film, winning best documentary at both the Academy Awards and European Awards in 2000. Critics continue to admire the honest and rare portrayals of life in Castro's Cuba as well as fascinating songs such as Chan Chan and Dos Gardenias that are seen as unique within the realm of Latin music. The film also contains many other original and traditional musical pieces that have rarely been heard by anyone outside of Cuba, and also some of the last performances of several of the documented artists.

Buena Vista Social Club is a 1998 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 81.

Buena Vista Social Club
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 45 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (20,247)
  • Metascore