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BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB

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With a small film crew, Wim Wenders accompanied his old friend Ry Cooder, who had written the music for PARIS, TEXAS and THE END OF VIOLENCE, on a trip to Havana. Cooder wanted to record his material for Ibrahim Ferrer's solo album at a studio there — following the recording of the first album by the band Buena Vista Social Club (which had not yet been released). Wenders immersed himself in the world of Cuban music. Over the course of several months, he observed and accompanied the musicians — first at home in Havana; then, weeks later, in April 1998, on their trip to Amsterdam for the first public performance of the band (who had never played together outside a studio); then, still later, in July 1998, to their triumphal concert at New York's Carnegie Hall. He thus followed the old heroes of the traditional Cuban Son music on their path from being completely forgotten to becoming world famous — within the period of just a few months. "I thought, I'll shoot a documentary," Wenders has said, "and here we were, about to witness a fairy tale that no one could have imagined in this form." The documentary became a cinematic sensation and an international success. Along with an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary, BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB won the same category at the European Film Awards, the German Film Prize in Gold, Germany's Golden Camera and the Grand Prize for Film in Brazil, among many others. (Note courtesy of Janus Films.) DIR/SCR Wim Wenders; PROD Ulrich Felsberg, Deepak Nayar. Germany/U.S./UK/France/Cuba, 1999, b&w/color, 105 min, DCP. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. RATED G

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Wim Wenders
105 Minutes
Documentary - music

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