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Dir Emilio Oscar Alcalde, US, 2019, 85 min
AfroCuba ’78, el documental tells the story and the destiny of the Cuban jazz group AfroCuba and its musician.
The group AfroCuba was formed in the mid-70’s in Havana. It was composed by musicians of diverse generations who assembled to experiment with a sound that combined advanced jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms.
In 1978, they produced their only LP, AfroCuba, which presented a musical concept of extraordinary strength in performance, and cemented them as a pillar of Cuban jazz at the time.
The LP's release was never allowed in Cuba, so the director Emilio Oscar Alcalde sets out to locate any of the copies edited outside the island that have been lost in obscurity for decades. In the process, he ends up also tracing down the original band members, now dispersed throughout the world.
Recollections of rehearsals intertwined with personal stories are emotionally narrated by the group's members in the film, along with photographic reconstruction of moments from the recording sessions. The result is a raw account of what could have been, while getting a glimpse of what was the fate of the group member's lives.
AfroCuba ’78, el documental showcases the original AfroCuba's members including Nicolás Reinoso, Tony Valdés, René Luis Toledo, Anselmo “Chembo” Febles, Ernán López Nussa, José Carlos Acosta, Fernando Acosta, Roberto García, Luis Quiñones and Mario Luis Pino.