|Buena Vista Social Club|
|Directed by||Wim Wenders|
|Written by||Wim Wenders|
|Edited by||Brian Johnson|
|Box office||$23 million|
Buena Vista Social Club is a 1999 documentary film directed 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. The film is an international co-production of Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Cuba.
In 2020, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.
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.
Buena Vista Social Club received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 92% "Certified Fresh" score based on 48 reviews, with an average rating of 7.52/10. Metacritic reports an 81 out of 100 rating based on 19 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
The film was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2000. 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 film.
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".