Omara Portuondo (vocals) in the documentary BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB: ADIOS, a Broad Green Pictures release. Credit: Dragan Tasic / Broad Green Pictures
Well-timed, given the Obama administration's announced intentions to re-establish relations with Cuba. Although there's still no clear indication of whether the current admin under Trump will continue what Obama started, or reverse whatever progress has already been made.
In January of 2015, then President Obama and Cuba's President Raúl Castro met in what was the first meeting between leaders of the two countries in over fifty years!
And in that same year, Broad Green Pictures announced the beginning of production of a follow-up to the 1999 Oscar-nominated documentary "Buena Vista Social Club," which catapulted Cuba’s vibrant music and culture onto the global stage. The film is now complete, opening today, May 26, in the USA.
Titled "Buena Vista Social Club - Adios," Academy Award nominee Lucy Walker directed the sequel, with Christine Cowin and Zak Kilberg producing. This time around, with the band on their final and hugely ambitious world tour, the 5 original band members take audiences on an intimate journey, revealing their personal and professional highs and lows since the 1999 film, while remembering the infamous and beloved band members no longer with us. The tour culminates in a series of homecoming concerts in Havana.
Set against the political, social and cultural backdrop of this rapidly evolving time in Cuban history, this film cements the legacy of the band, the musicians and the music, at the end of an era.
Broad Green Pictures financed the project and produces, alongside Blink TV and Convergent Media (formerly Social Construct Media). Broad Green has worldwide rights to the film and will distribute in the United States, with Mister Smith Entertainment handling international sales.
Director Lucy Walker previously stated going into production, “The original 'Buena Vista Social Club' movie introduced the world to a group of fantastically charming and talented musicians who have inspired the world with their stories, hearts and music. Those are big shoes to fill and I am honored to follow in the footsteps of such a beloved, popular movie about such beloved, popular artists, and it’s especially fascinating during this important moment in Cuban history.”
“'Buena Vista Social Club' was such a culturally moving film that evoked such a passionate response from audiences and critics worldwide. We are honored to be part of continuing this beautiful story alongside a filmmaker we admire.” said Daniel Hammond, Broad Green’s Chief Creative Officer, also in a previous statement.
Directed by Lucy Walker, producers are Christine Cowin, Zak Kilberg, Julian Cautherley, Victor Moyers and Asher Goldstein. Executive producers are Gabriel Hammond, Daniel Hammond, Lucy Walker, Jason Lust, Wim Wenders, Bill Lord, Tom Colbourne, Andrew Baker, and Russell Smith.
Broad Green opens the film on May 26, in the USA, although in a limited theatrical release, so check your local listings. It'll likely travel over the next few weeks if it's not opening in a theater near you this weekend.
Here's a trailer for "Buena Vista Social Club - Adios."