The million-dollar success of Cuban music has turned the resonant name into a popular term used across the globe. But did the Social Club Buena Vista really exist? In the film from Wim Wenders, Compay Segundo searched for the club's building in front of the camera. Was this place simply an urban myth? Two students started out on their own journey in search for the real club. But the passers-by in the Havana-center warn them of the small afro-Cuban quarter in the offside of the metropolis.
“When the Berlin wall came down I was 19. While the German reunification made one land out of two, for me personally it made two lives out of one. Before 1989 Cuba was a quite unspectacular place for me. The official propaganda forced the images of the socialist confederate. Many Cubans worked and studied in Leipzig, my hometown in the east of Germany. The contact got lost when the Cuban government retracted them overnight in 1989. For me the second life began. With the western TV-sets the images of Cuba changed too: the media presented suspect stereotypes of decadence and nostalgia. And while I thought about what would became of me without the political turnaround Cuba got bit by bit the aura of a linear pendant in compare to my own history. I really could not imagine how the people live, what they hope for and dream about. High time to go there. I did. In a small quarter of Havana I met Cuban people between stagnation and retrieval of own strength. It was a unique experience to make a film about. For me personally it connected my two lives to one again.”
– Director’s Statement
Carsten Moller was born in 1970 in Leipzig and studied Media Arts until 2002 at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig (HGB). In 1994 he presented his first work Nabelwelt at the International Festival for Documentary and Animated Films Leipzig. Moller founded the film forum, ‘Fernsehen macht schon’ in Leipzig in 1999. At Second Glance ? Social Club Buena Vista is his second feature length documentary film.