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. He lives in NY, where he granted us exclusive access to his life at home and on tour. Critically acclaimed director Abner Benaim takes us on a journey through Ruben's 50 year career, revealing that Ruben might still have both musical and political ambitions. This is a film about a living legend and his struggle to come to terms with his legacy.
- Panama's Submission for the 91st Academy Awards
- 24 Beats Per Second Audience Award - SXSW
- Ruben Blades
- Paul Simon
- Rene Perez (Residente)
- Gilberto Santa Rosa
- Larry Harlow
- Andy Montañez
- Ismael Miranda
- Junot Diaz
- Luba Mason
- Abner Benaim
- Gastón Girod
- Mauro Colombo
- Felipe Guerrero
- Ruben Blades
- Tito Puente
- APERTURA FILMS
Cinema allows us to play outside the boundaries of reason, where the only logic that matters is the internal logic of the creative process; our desires. Cinema is a magical force; as familiar as love and as elusive as the imagination itself. It’s a powerful antidote against the difficulties that come with life (and death).
Abner Benaim is a director, producer, and screenwriter who 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.
He is known for CHANCE (2009), INVASION (2014), RUBEN BLADES IS NOT MY NAME (2018) and PLAZA CATEDRAL (2021). Benaim’s films have been Panama’s official selection on three occasions for the Oscars. PLAZA CATEDRAL (2021), his latest feature film, was shortlisted at the 2022 Oscars, the first time in history for a film from Panama.
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. His projects have participated at Berlinale, Sundance and Jerusalem Lab.
Benaim’s work deals with social issues and touching personal stories told in an unceremonious, sometimes humorous and irreverent tone.