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Buena Vista Social Club (film)

Buena Vista Social Club
Directed by Wim Wenders
Produced by Rosa Bosch
Ulrich Felsberg
Deepak Nayar
Written by Wim Wenders
Starring Luis Barzaga
Joachim Cooder
Ry Cooder
Juan de Marcos González
Julio Alberto Fernández
Ibrahim Ferrer
Carlos González
Rubén González
Salvador Repilado Labrada
Pío Leyva
Manuel "Puntillita" Licea
Orlando "Cachaito" López
Benito Suárez Magana
Manuel "Guajiro" Mirabal
Eliades Ochoa
Omara Portuondo
Julienne Oviedo Sánchez
Compay Segundo
Barbarito Torres
Alberto 'Virgilio' Valdés
Amadito Valdés
Lázaro Villa
Edited by Monica Anderson
Brian Johnson
Distributed by Axiom Films (UK and Ireland) StudioCanal (Germany)
Release dates
17 February 1999 (Berlin International Film Festival)
4 June 1999 (USA)
Running time
105 min.
Country Germany
United States
United Kingdom
Language English / Spanish
Budget N/A
Box office $23,002,182[1]

Buena Vista Social Club (1999) is a documentary film by Wim Wenders about the music of Cuba. It is named for a danzón that became the title piece of the album Buena Vista Social Club.


  • Synopsis 1
  • Influence 2
  • Awards 3
  • Musicians (in order of appearance) 4
  • Songs in the film (in order of appearance) 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The film documents how Ry Cooder, long-time friend of Wenders, brought together the ensemble of legendary Cuban musicians to record an album (also called Buena Vista Social Club) and to perform two times with a full line-up: in April 1998 in Amsterdam (two nights) and the 1st of July 1998 in the United States (at the Carnegie Hall, New York City). Although they are geographically close, travel between Cuba and the United States is restricted due to the political tension between the two countries, so many of the artists were travelling there for the first time. The film shows their reactions to this experience, as well as including footage of the resultant sell-out concert. It also includes interviews with each of the main performers.


The film helped the musicians, some of them already in their nineties, become known to a worldwide audience, with some going on to release popular solo albums. These included Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, Rubén González and Elíades Ochoa. The latter went on to support younger musicians making the same style of music beyond 2010 under the name "Buena Vista Social Club".


The film was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2000.[2] It won as best documentary in the European Film Awards as well as many others. The album Buena Vista Social Club features studio versions of the music heard in the movie.

Musicians (in order of appearance)

Songs in the film (in order of appearance)

  1. "Chan Chan" (Francisco Repilado)
  2. "Silencio" (Rafael Hernandez)
  3. "Chattanooga Choo Choo" (Harry Warren and Mack Gordon)
  4. "Dos Gardenias" (Isolina Carillo)
  5. "Veinte Años" (María Teresa Vera),
  6. "Y Tu Que Has Hecho?" (Eusebio Delfin),
  7. "Black Bottom" (Ray Henderson, Lew Brown and B. G. De Sylva)
  8. "Canto Siboney" (Ernesto Lecuona Casado),
  9. "El Carretero" (Jose "Guillermo Portabales" Quesada del Castillo)
  10. "Cienfuegos (tiene su guaguanco)" (Victor Lay)
  11. "Begin The Beguine" (Cole Porter)
  12. "Buena Vista Social Club" (Orestes Lopez, inventor of the mambo in 1937)
  13. "Mandinga" (also known as "Bilongo", Guillermo Rodriguez Fiffe)
  14. "Candela" (Faustino Oramas),
  15. "Chanchullo" (Israel "Cachao" Lopez, the father of Cachaito)
  16. "El Cuarto de Tula" (son/descarga, Sergio Siaba),
  17. "Guateque Campesino" (Celia Romero "Guateque"),
  18. "Nuestra Ultima Cita" (Forero Esther)
  19. "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás" (bolero by Oswaldo Farres).

See also


  1. ^ "Buena Vista Social Club".  
  2. ^ "Buena Vista Social Club". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 

External links

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