Watching this 1997 documentary about Cuban salsa pioneers Vieja Trova Santiaguera, one wishes that director Sonia Herman Dolz had tried harder to capture the men behind the public masks. Dolz presents many scenes of the elderly musicians as they rehearse and perform, and a few obligatory backstage interviews in which the five bandsmen muse over their lives, but the film contains few truly candid shots. Evidently the musicians are never crabby, never snap on the road, never say or do anything scandalous or even human. They do, however, make a pilgrimage to a statue of Karl Marx, where the band's leader rhapsodizes about the Cuban government's generous support—Don't Look Back this ain't. Still, every time the band dips into its repertoire of intensely moving songs, the film soars. In Spanish with subtitles. 75 min.
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