25th Anniversary Screening from 35mm film
+ Q&A with the Album’s Executive Producer Nick Gold, hosted by Rita Ray (BBC World Service).
Post-screening DJ set with Rita Ray
Dir. Wim Wenders, USA, 1999, 100 min
Cuba’s rich and colourful past comes vividly to life in this legendary, Oscar-nominated documentary from director Wim Wenders (PARIS, TEXAS, WINGS OF DESIRE).
The Grammy Award–winning Buena Vista Social Club album produced by Ry Cooder, remains the biggest-selling world music album ever. It showcases the talents of a dream team of veterans from Cuban music's golden age and it introduced the rhythms of Son, Bolero and Danzón to a whole new audience, making instant international stars of Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo and Compay Segundo.
Never a regular band, The Buena Vista Social Club had gone their separate ways after that sensational album but in this extraordinary film Wenders intimately documents Ry Cooder’s return to Havana, encountering these musical legends again as they look back to the halcyon days of Cuba’s music scene, when the rich and famous travelled from all over the world to listen to them. In the climax their music comes alive once again, as they rehearse for their first – and only – performance in America, at New York’s Carnegie Hall. More than a musical occasion that historic sell-out show is the uplifting finale to this documentary, which remains one of the greatest musical films ever made.
Event supported by the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.