When Wim Wenders’ documentary Buena Vista Social Club premiered in 1999, the world got to see Cuban music like never before. Following Ry Cooder’s ambitious idea of bringing together a group of legendary Cuban musicians to record an album together (also titled Buena Vista Social Club) and then perform in Amsterdam and in at Carnegie Hall in New York, Wenders’ Oscar-nominated documentary introduced the world to this vibrant music scene. Now, close to two decades later, director Lucy Walker is revisiting that Havana music hub in the aptly-titled doc, Buena Vista Social Club – Adios.
Billed as a chance to hear the story of these talented musicians from their own point of view, Adios follows 5 original band members as they retrace their steps as musicians in a pre-Castro Cuba all the way through the Wenders doc, and up until their current farewell tour. Mixing intimate testimonials with raucous concert scenes from their Cuban homecoming performances, Walker’s film looks like a worthy follow-up to that zeitgeist hit. And it looks all the more timely given the current changes in Cuban-American diplomatic relations, making this “goodbye” feel like the end of an era. Take a look at the full trailer below.
Buena Vista Social Club – Adios opens in limited release on May 26, 2017.