Buena Vista Social Club (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

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Movie Info

In 1996 Ry Cooder gathered together some of the greatest names from the history of Cuban music to collaborate on the best selling and Grammy winning album The Buena Vista Social Club. This ground-breaking documentary, inspired by the album, includes appearances by legendary performers Ry & Joaquim Cooder, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzales, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo, Compay Segundo and many other renowned Cuban Musicians.

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Critic Reviews for Buena Vista Social Club

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (8)

One of the best and most impactful docus of the 1990s, Wim Wenders exhilarating feature is at once a trbute to a pre-Castro generation of musicians as well as a largely bygone genre.

August 3, 2011 | Rating: A | Full Review…
EmanuelLevy.Com

Cuban musicians tell their life stories.

January 1, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Common Sense Media

... celebrates the beauty of Cuba's art while showing how it effortlessly crosses cultures.

February 7, 2010 | Full Review…
Seanax.com

An affectionate cinematic celebration of that all-but-forgotten music.

November 15, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
TheMovieReport.com

Reflects that flavorful, outspoken, provocative, distinctly Cuban Latino-centricity, a weapon against the prolonged U.S. blockade.

April 12, 2007 | Full Review…
WBAI Web Radio

Cooder is obviously enthralled by the music and the musicians, but it's hardly communicated in a clubby film record that's likely to win few fans outside aficionados.

June 15, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Boulder Weekly

Audience Reviews for Buena Vista Social Club

Though I'm not sure Wim Wenders was needed to direct it - I think it was done on handhelds - the subject matter alone is enough to make this documentary interesting. On his producer's whim, Ry Cooder heads for Havana to play some Cuban folk music with some local and some African players... except, the Africans never show up. Almost by accident, he links up with one legend after another, many of whom have long ago quit playing music, and he records the sessions, taking the band all the way to Carnegie Hall. Interesting window into a musician's life, Cuban life, and a Cuban musician's life. It's a great and valuable historical document... and, oh yeah, the music's pretty good, too.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

The interesting in this documentary, is not just the great cuban music, but the story of each one that is part of Buena Vista, and see how the songs get better with they experience of living. Terrific photography.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

A documentary of the reformation of Cuba's musical legends into the touring Buena Vista Social Club band. Like many American documentaries it can be a bit too sycophantic at times, but it's a lovely insight into the Cuban people behind the music as well as a nice music video of their tour.

Ross Collins
Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

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