Blu-ray, DVD Release: Buena Vista Social Club

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 18, 2017
Price: DVD $22.99, Blu-ray $26.19
Studio: Criterion

Traveling from the streets of Havana to the stage of Carnegie Hall, the revelatory 1999 music-filled documentary Buena Vista Social Club captures a forgotten generation of Cuba’s brightest musical talents as they enjoy an unexpected brush with world fame.

The veteran vocalists and instrumentalists collaborated with American guitarist and roots-music champion Ry Cooder to form the Buena Vista Social Club, playing a jazz-inflected mix of cha-cha, mambo, bolero, and other traditional Latin American styles, and recording an album that won a Grammy and made them an international phenomenon.

In the wake of this success, director Wim Wenders (Pina, Salt of the Earth) filmed the ensemble’s members-including golden-voiced Ibrahim Ferrer and piano virtuoso Rubén González-in a series of illuminating interviews and live performances. The result is one of the most beloved music documentaries of the 1990s, and an infectious ode to a neglected corner of Cuba’s prerevolutionary heritage.

Presented in English and Spanish with English subtitles, Criterion’s director-approved DVD and Blu-ray editions of the movie contain the following:

* New high-definition digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Audio commentary from 1999 featuring director Wim Wenders
* New interview with Wenders
* We Believe in Dreams, a new piece featuring never-before-seen outtakes from the rehearsals for the Buena Vista Social Club’s Amsterdam concerts
* Interview from 1998 with musician Compay Segundo on his career and the Cuban music scene
* Radio interviews from 2000 featuring musicians Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo, and others
* Additional scenes
* Trailer
* An essay by author and geographer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Buy or Rent Buena Vista Social Club

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.