The Return of Ruben Blades

Director: Robert Mugge

Institute History

  • 1986 Sundance Film Festival


Ruben Blades, a Panamanian who resides in New York and recently graduated from Harvard Law School has carved out an enviable reputation as an international salsa music star. Salsa music, for the uninitiated, is the upbeat, polyrhythmic pop music of Latin America. A handful of his hit tunes are performed live on camera with his band—particularly “Buscando America” and “Silencios.” One can sense the passion and originality of his music at the outset. He is, indeed, a gifted musician, composer and bandleader.

Just as fascinating, however, is his witty and intelligent manner of handling the on-camera interview. An articulate spokesperson for Latin America, he even admits ate in the film that he would consider running for the office of President of Panama if he thought he could help. Somehow, by the time he says it, it doesn't sound like an impossible task or even a bad idea. Blades is an engaging personality, full of commitment to his people, his roots and his music.

Screening Details

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