Focusing on the lives of these Cuban musicians as much as their music, Wender's intelligent documentary brings cameras to a land where poverty is so rampant it seems normal. Guitarist Cooder, who produced the Buena Vista Social Club's million-selling album, had originally gone to work with some African musicians who never showed. Cooder ended up recording these 70-, 80- and 90-year-old charmers.
While the exquisite music may not make for Song Remains the Same-style concert footage, and the subtitles are often difficult to read, the stories told by each member, and their love for their country, make this a worthy excursion.
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