Ruben Blades is Not My Name
Director Abner Benaim
Argentina, Colombia, Panama / 85 min. / 2018 / English, Spanish / English subtitles
The testament of the great poet of salsa. A self-tribute in which the Panamanian artist bids farewell to “Pedro Navaja” and talks about his beginnings in Fania, about politics, about his relationship with women and about his vocation as a social chronicler.
Rubén Blades admits that the time has come to wave goodbye to salsa and devote himself to other tasks. And, before doing so, he wants to close the door properly and tell all in a documentary so that in future, others won’t tell it for him. He does so in the privacy of his home, in his room of comics and toys, strolling down the street and in the dressing rooms of his last big tour. With his captivating style, he talks a bit about everything: how he got into the Fania label as the “mail boy”, how he went on to sing for his idol Ray Barretto, the price of fame, his relationship with women, of his career as a politician in Panama, his role as an actor and even the 37-year-old son he discovered he had. He also portrays himself as an alpha male, devotee and patriot. And e powerful archival images, as well as the testimonies of friends and admirers such as Sting, Paul Simon or Resident (Calle 13), corroborate the cultural significance of a repertoire full of salsa classics in which he was one of the first to introduce social content and each verse works like the vignette of a comic.
With the support of