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Los Zafiros: Music from the Edge of Time

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

As John, Paul, George and Ringo were forming the Beatles in Liverpool in the early 1960s, another band was coming together in the tough district of Cayo Hueso in Havana. Playing a brilliant mix of American inspired Doo Wop and traditional Latin forms, Los Zafiros became a huge sensation in Cuba and beyond before dissolving in the mid 1970s. Thirty years after their breakup, the two surviving band members, multiple-Grammy winner and Buena Vista Social Club alumnus Manuel Galbán, and the group’s co-founder, Miguel Cancio, reunite in the streets of present-day Havana, a place full of unforgettable songs and memories for them and for their still-loyal fans.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Manuel Galban, Miguel Cancio, Los Nuevos Zafiros, Manolin - El Medico de Salsa, Juana Bacallao
  • Directors: Lorenzo DeStefano
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Shout Factory - Vivendi Filmed Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to over 75 destinations outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000A2WEQQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,696 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Are you getting tired of hearing the same thing over and over again? Are you in the mood for something different, but don't know where to start? "Los Zafiros: Music from the Edge of Time" might be just what you are looking for, even if you don't know it. Don't expect this DVD to be on display in a special showcase at your local Shop-a-Mart; this is a special-niche documentary that achieves big results with little fanfare. Los Zafiros were a Cuban band that achieved superstardom in their home country and Europe in a post-Bay of Pigs universe that prevented them (along with a language barrier) from being heard in America. In 1964, Los Zafiros were the second most popular act in Cuba, after the Beatles. Their sound relied heavily on the Platters, but also has a touch of Smokey Robinson's Miracles, the Drifters, and the Flamingoes. The music takes the traditional American-style doo-wop and stylizes it into something extraordinary by stretching past the typical baion rhythms of American vocal groups, including bossa nova, calypso, mamba, bolero, cumbia, and any other Latin rhythm you care to name. The DVD concentrates on the story of the band, from their startling rise to fame, and the sadness of their eventual fall.
In one sense, this film would make an excellent precursor to the "Buena Vista Social Club". If you enjoyed that movie, then "Los Zafiros" is sure to please. The historic documentary footage is classic and thoroughly engaging, even when the `special effects' betray a complete lack of sophistication. The film quality may be lacking, but the band's performances are never less than stellar, especially in scenes that portray the entire five-piece band at their prime.
For anyone under the age of 50, the very word "Cuba" evokes a deep sense of mystery.
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1962, Cuba. "Señores" (Mr.) are now "Compañeros or Camaradas" (Comrades) as in USSR, Che Guevara introduces the concept of "Hombre Nuevo" (New Man). Prostitution, Cabarets, Casinos, Night Life, Vitrolas are considered "vicious of the imperialism", like the rock, doo-wop, jazz, and american music. Luis Bravo, the only successful cuban rock singer ever, was criticized and never returned to the country after a USA tour that year. In the 70's songs sung in English were forbidden, Radio and TV promoted "Nueva Trova" and "Salsa", in the early 70's the Cuban Underground Rock dissapear.
Los zafiros, the best vocal cuban group ever, played american style music, like the Platters or the Motown Sound, but at the same time they mixed cuban rythms and Bossa Nova, so they found the way to perform on TV and cuban Radio. But the Zafiro's life style never match the image of the "Hombre Nuevo" and they suddenly and misteriously vanished(?). There was no public information at all. Kike, "El Chino" and Ignacio, 3 great lead singers never could sing as solist after the rupture (???!!!). Kike and Ignacio died in the eighties, some years after. In 1992 Jorge Dalton made "Herido de Sombras", the first revival of forgotten Zafiros (and forgotten Cuban music). This is a hard to find documentary that shows "El Chino" still alive, his last days living in poverty, without a helping hand, and treated unrespectfully.
Los zafiros: Music From The Edge of Time could not be done using Press, magazines or any otrer material as source of information. Instead, the other 2 members of the group told the story. Cancio is an exiled, who has family in Cuba and who likes to visit his country.
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American listeners are most familiar with Manuel Galbán for his role in "Buena Vista Social Club." In that project, he only played an accompanying role. As a follow-up, "Mambo Sinuendo" stands as his most outstanding contribution. Those who were wooed by the instrumental guitar album will appreciate learning about the group that originally put Galbán on the musical map. Los Zafiros were a Cuban doo-wop group from the 1960's. Back in the day, they were all the rage. As an international phenomenon, the group traveled the world before returning home to implode. With the help of the surviving band members and those who lived through it all, "Music from the Edge of Time" is a nostalgic look at 'The Sapphires.' The film is interesting, but that's not the same as compelling. The best way appreciate this project may be to compare it with its theatrical peer, "Buena Vista Social Club." While Ry Cooder's movie was a celebration of something vibrant and alive, "Music from the Edge of Time" is a look back at something long gone. Beyond this, the music hasn't aged well. Buena Vista Social Club played music that was simultaneously vintage yet timeless. Unless you happened to grow up in Cuba during the 1960's, Los Zafiros tend to sound like old Spanish language pop. Indeed, Los Zafiros have little to offer that would attract today's world music listener. The exception to this is the music played in the film by the surviving members.Read more ›
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