Directed by Abner Benaim
Latin American icon Ruben Blades was at the center of the New York Salsa revolution in the 1970’s. His socially charged lyrics and explosive rhythms brought Salsa music to an international audience. Blades has won 17 Grammys, acted in Hollywood, earned a law degree from Harvard and even run for President of his native Panama. Critically acclaimed director Abner Benaim takes us on a journey through Ruben’s 50 year career, revealing that Ruben still has both musical and political ambitions. This is a film about a living legend and his struggle to come to terms with his legacy. Featuring Paul Simon, Sting, Junot Diaz and Gilberto Santa Rosa. Selected as the Panamanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. Audience Award-winner at SXSW 2018.
Benaim studied International Relations and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and later film directing at Camera Obscura, Tel Aviv. In 2004, he founded Apertura Films, an independent production company, in his native Panama, where he is considered a pioneer filmmaker. His first feature, “Chance” (2010) was the first film to be theatrically released in Panama in 60 years, and was seen by over 500,000 spectators. “Invasion” (fIDFA 2014) was Panama’s first submission to the Academy Awards and had an audience of 50,000 people in local theaters. Benaim’s films have been selected at prestigious film festivals such as SXSW, IDFA, HOTDOCS and True False, and have won multiple awards as well as critical acclaim. Benaim’s work deals with social issues and touching personal stories told in an unceremonious, sometimes humorous and irreverent tone.