Rubén Blades is Not My Name
Dir. Abner Benaim, 2018 | 84 mins
Rubén Blades Is Not My Name presents one of Latin America’s most beloved singer-songwriters on an intimate, revealing journey across his 50-year career. Benaim’s appealing documentary focuses on the significance of Blades’ career in music. Moving through his discography, Benaim and Blades take us through his greatest hits while various guests, including Sting and Paul Simon, provide additional insight on his significance and musicality. Blades’ peers from the Latin music scene lend some context to his music and highlight how his songs might simply sound like sexy tango music to an untrained or foreign ear, but injected political messages and hymns to the working class within the conventions of popular music. There’s also a fascinating examination of Blades’ political convictions and ambitions, most notably his impressive run for president in 1994.
Spanish, English with English subtitles.
“More than anything, this documentary is a celebration of Blades the Musician. His talent and contribution to the genre of salsa cannot be underestimated, and seeing him comfortable on stage, belting out hits like the eternal Pedro Navaja or Patria is great, toe-tapping fun even if you’re not a fan of salsa music.”