Sight and Sound - 10/??/1999
"...A valid celebration of musical sophistication and ageless optimism..."
Total Film - 10/01/1999
"...Opulent, organic and as intoxicating as a rum binge....Terrific, truly liberating stuff..." -- 4 out of 5 stars
New York Times - 06/04/1999
"...Exhilarating....A documentary that mixes music with impressionistic glimpses of urban life in Cuba..."
Box Office - 06/01/1999
"...One of the most beautiful and poetic documentaries ever made....Oscar-caliber sound recording of the live performances, coupled with a spectacularly rich sound mix, provide the cherry atop this enriching and rewarding musical feast..." -- 5 out of 5 stars
USA Today - 06/04/1999
"...Wistfully sweet....There are lots of fascinating shots of modern-day Havana..."
Los Angeles Times - 06/04/1999
"...Marvelous....BUENA VISTA creates a completely relaxed, welcoming feeling that couldn't be more inclusive..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 06/25/1999
"...Exhilarating....It's a remarkable story that culminates in an ecstatically received performance in New York's Carnegie Hall....It's also fiercely uplifting. It's been a long time since a film imparted such unshakable good feelings..."
Wall Street Journal - 07/10/2009
"Watching the movie can induce rapture....It's a labor of love prompted by Mr. Cooder's labor of love, and the most intensely emotional work of the director's career."
No one can recall exactly where the Buena Vista Social Club once stood in pre- revolutionary Havana but Wim Wenders's documentary of a dozen legendary musicians resurrects the magnificent music of the era. Guitarist Ry Cooder assembled the aging singers and musicians for a series of recording sessions. The resulting 1997 album won a Grammy. The music performances are intercut with shots of the performers reminiscing in decaying Havana bars.
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