Combustible Celluloid
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With: Compay Segundo, Eliades Ochoa, Ry Cooder, Joachim Cooder, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez, Barbarito Torres, Omara Portuondo
Written by: Wim Wenders
Directed by: Wim Wenders
MPAA Rating: G
Language: English, Spanish with English subtitles
Running Time: 106
Date: 02/17/1999

Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Our Group in Havana

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buena Vista Social Club follows the Grammy-winning Cuban supergroup of the samename in a wonderful, relaxed documentary directed by Wim Wenders (Wings ofDesire). We're introduced to the band members -- ranging in age from their 40's totheir 80's -- slowly over the course of the whole movie. We're also reminded thatthese artists had been all but forgotten until this band was formed by Americanguitarist Ry Cooder. Wenders, who adores music as much as movies, is notinterested in too many hows, whys, whens, or wheres. He simply wants to spotlightthis band and its stories, and he succeeds, although the movie uses onlychopped-up parts of their enchanting songs.