The best Wim Wenders documentary to date and an uncommonly self-effacing one, this concert movie about performance and lifestyle is comparable in some ways to Latcho drom, the great Gypsy documentary/musical. In 1996 musician Ry Cooder traveled to Havana and reunited some of the greatest stars of Cuban pop music from the Batista era (who were virtually forgotten after Castro came to power and are now in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s) with the aim of making a record, a highly successful venture that leads to concerts in Amsterdam and New York. The players and their stories are as wonderful as the music, and the filmmaking is uncommonly sensitive and alert. Music Box, Friday through Thursday, June 25 through July 1. --Jonathan Rosenbaum
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.