Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director:

Wim Wenders

Writers:

Wim Wenders (by), Nick Gold (original concept)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Octavio Calderon Octavio Calderon ... Self - Musician
Joachim Cooder Joachim Cooder ... Self
Ry Cooder ... Self
Angel Terry Domech Angel Terry Domech ... Self
Ibrahim Ferrer ... Self
Ibrahim Ferrer Jr. Ibrahim Ferrer Jr. ... Self
Manuel Galbán Manuel Galbán ... Self - Musician
Hugo Garzón Hugo Garzón ... Self
Carlos Gonzalez Carlos Gonzalez ... Self
Juan de Marcos González Juan de Marcos González ... Self
Rubén González Rubén González ... Self
Pío Leyva Pío Leyva ... Self
Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea ... Self
Orlando 'Cachaíto' López ... Self
Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal ... Self
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Storyline

A group of legendary Cuban musicians, some as old as their nineties, were brought together by Ry Cooder to record a CD. In this film, we see and hear some of the songs being recorded in Havana. There is also footage from concerts in Amsterdam and New York City's Carnegie Hall. In addition, many of the individual musicians talk about their lives in Cuba and about how they got started in music. Written by George S. Davis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Cubas Poesie Cubas Musik, Cubas Menschen, Cubas Poesie [The music of Cuba, the people of Cuba, the poetry of Cuba] See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All the scenes in Havana were shot in three weeks. See more »


Soundtracks

Begin the Beguine
Written by Cole Porter
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User Reviews

This could have been a brilliant documentary
2 September 2000 | by wisewebwomanSee all my reviews

And why wasn't it? The editing, the shaky hand held cameras which made it difficult to read the subtitles, the musical numbers cut off before completion, the insertion of Ry Cooder and or his son into practically every frame, the story management - why did it not show the preparation and rehearsals leading up to the climax of Carnegie Hall. The touristy reactions in New York were too kitchsy for words and took the dignity of these brilliant musicians away. I wanted more of these musicians' stories and my favourite sequence was of the pianist playing in Havana and all these tiny little ballerinas dancing around him, caught up in the magic. More of the history of the Buena Vista Social Club would have been wonderful also - this was sad in its omission. These incredible musicians were not served well here.


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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

Germany | USA | UK | France | Cuba

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

4 June 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Havana Rhapsody See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$127,370, 6 June 1999

Gross USA:

$7,002,182

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,141,199
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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