- Rated: PG-13
- Run Time: 2 hours
- Video: Color
- Released: July 23, 2013
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: HBO Archive
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"What good are eyes if everyone's blind!"
- Arturo (Andy Garcia) to Mariela (Mia Maestro)
"I've been in jail all my life."
- Arturo to embassy interviewer (David Paymer)
"That's the second greatest trumpet player in the world."
- Dizzy Gillespie (Charles Dutton) to embassy guard, referring to Arturo
Description by OLDIES.com:
The U.S. Embassy is about to play host to a defector and the defector is about to play for his life. Based on an incredible true story, For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story tells the powerful tale of a Cuban musician with a trumpet, a few scratched American LPs and a dream that would change his life forever. Frustrated by the Cuban government's response to his music, and after meeting American jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval secretly plans to escape to the US. Tied to Cuba by a love for his wife, family, and home, he cooperates with the government, going so far as to join the party in order to travel internationally. One night, on a European tour, he leaves a smoke-filled night club for a secret meeting at the US Embassy. Fearful of being sent home, Sandoval's heart beats like never before. At risk is everything he loves. The prize is everything he dreams.
Andy Garcia stars as world-renowned Cuban trumpet player Arturo Sandoval in this moving portrait of his life in Cuba, his passion for jazz, and his eventual defection from his homeland in 1990. A passionate free thinker, Arturo struggled for personal and creative freedom in Cuban, experiencing a lifetime of artistic persecution. Despite strict revolutionary guidelines, Arturo played with the award-winning Cuban fusion band Irakere, receiving critical and commercial success while living under the shadow of Fidel Castro's dictatorship. In 1981, Sandoval left Irakere and formed his own band, desperate to play jazz by his own rules. A musical virtuoso, Sandoval lived to play his own brash brand of jazz, inspired by his mentor and longtime friend, American jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie (Charles S.Dutton). Ultimately, Arturo's love for his wife, Mariela (Mia Maestro), and his growing family forced him to stay in Cuba, constantly compromising his artistic freedom for the revolution. Finally, in 1990, after years of artistic frustration, Gillespie helped Arturo to defect with his wife and young son. The Sandovals' remarkable journey to freedom is conveyed through a series of flashbacks, as Arturo reflects on his passion for his country, his wife, and his ultimate desire for musical freedom. Andy Garcia gives an uplifting and moving performance as the jazz legend, swinging and bopping onstage to his own uncompromising rhythm. The film also features a fabulous supporting cast, including Latin superstar Gloria Estefan, and a rousing score from the legend himself, Arturo Sandoval.
Cable Original |
Latin Music |
- Cable premiere: November 18, 2000 (HBO).
- Shot on location in Miami and Puerto Rico.
- Arturo Sandoval performed with costar Gloria Estefan on numerous albums, including INTO THE LIGHT and MI TIERRA.
- FOR LOVE OR COUNTRY was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television.
- Andy Garcia was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for his role in the film.