Los Zafiros

Music from the Edge of Time | Shout! Factory
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  July 23, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
072707_inside_LOSZAFIROSdvdSitting next to a bronze sculpture of John Lennon in a public park, an old man is reminiscing about one of the great pop groups of the ’60s. But as much as he adores the Beatles, that’s not who he’s talking about. The park is in Havana, and the group is Los Zafiros, a Cuban quintet that fused American doo-wop with Latin elements and captivated the entire island nation. They moved like the Temptations, sang like a holy matrimony of the Platters and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and because their homeland was off-limits, we Americans never knew they existed. The Lorenzo Destefano–directed Music from the Edge of Time isn’t Buena Vista Social Club; it’s not about the old gang coming back together and, at long last, reaching out beyond the borders: three of Los Zafiros are dead. But there are tons of fascinating vintage footage and even more tears shed on this DVD, as survivors Miguel Cancio, who eventually left Cuba for Miami, and Manuel Galbán, who did hook up with the Buena Vista crew, recording the album Mambo Sinuedo with Ry Cooder, walk their old haunts. As with anything Cuban, politics is never far away — “The people needed something to distract them from the uncertainty of the times,” says Cancio — but Music from the Edge of Time isn’t a political film. The streets are clean and the people are happy and shiny. They all remember Los Zafiros — the Sapphires — and they still love them.
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  Topics: New on DVD , Politics, The Beatles, John Lennon,  More more >
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