Buena Vista Social Club, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: +3

This documentary was not rated (NR) by the MPAA. We are listing it as a PG-rated film to indicate an intended adult audience.

Those who remember Havana, Cuba as a vacation paradise, famous for its cigars and lively Latin music in its pre-Castro days, will particularly enjoy this documentary. The film is based on recording artist Ry Cooders Grammy winning album, "The Buena Vista Social Club." He travels to present-day Havana in search of famous musicians of the 1930's and 40's who made that citys Buena Vista night club a major tourist attraction. His treasure hunt produces such finds as 80-year-old pianist Ruben Gonzalez, 95-year-old guitarist/singer Compay Segundo, vocalists Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo. Their spontaneity and joy of life are truly inspirational as they belt out lively musical numbers in informal recording sessions. Although the once thriving city of Havana has become a dingy, depressing shell, the talent and vibrancy of these surviving famous artists live on. Especially thrilling for them are the standing-room-only concerts in Amsterdam and New York Citys Carnegie Hall, places they never dreamed of seeing. This very enjoyable documentary will appear in a limited number of theaters, but music lovers will find BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB time well spent. English subtitles enable viewers to follow along with the colorful Spanish lyrics.

The only slightly risque lyrics of a few songs hardly qualify as "offensive." An 80-year-old man singing about a voluptuous woman brings smiles, not frowns. The joyous response of these very lively folks as they receive international recognition through brand new recordings and live concerts is life affirming. Their wide-eyed wonder of seeing New York City from atop the Empire State Building will melt the coldest heart. BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB is truly a treat instead of a treatment.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Artisan Entertainment, 2700 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: OnceMild (damn)

Obscene Language:





Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (song lyrics describe voluptuous woman)

Drugs: Few times (cigar smoking)

Other: Tribute to the young-at-heart proves age should not be measured by years

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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