Archive of films For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story / For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story

2000, 143 min

Section: Inspired by Music
Year: 2001


This life story of Cuban trumpet player Arturo Sandoval focuses on his love of jazz, his love for Marianela, and the hassles he endured under a regime not very sympathetic to ‘imperialist’ music. In spite of having to play with the socialist orchestra and for a circus, Arturo manages to start the legendary band Irakere and meets Dizzy Gillespie. But after being accused of counterrevolutionary behaviour he succumbs to forced membership in the Party: the only possibility of performing abroad and escaping from Cuba. In 1989, after a gala concert in Athens, an opportunity presented itself, and Dizzy Gillespie was there to help him take advantage of it. The film, which is conceived as a succession of retrospective scenes, benefits greatly from Sandoval’s genius. The trumpet player, portrayed on screen by Andy Garcia, composed all the musical accompaniment. Singer Gloria Estefan fills another of the film’s roles.

About the director

Joseph Sargent (b. 1925, New Jersey as Giuseppe Danielle Sorgente) was fascinated by film as a child, especially after his uncle gave him an 8 mm camera. He’s been making films since the mid-fifties, works very often for television and has even acted in several movies (Tobruk, The Making of ‘Golden Girl’, Caroline?, Ivory Hunters, among others). He has also worked as a producer. Of his extensive filmography the following selection is taken from recent years: My Antonia, Mandela and de Klerk, Miss Evers’ Boys, The Long Island Incident, The Wall, Crime and Punishment, Lesson Before Dying, Vola Sciusciu, Bojangles, Salem Witch Trials.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Inspired by Music
Director: Joseph Sargent
Screenplay: Timothy J. Sexton
Dir. of Photography: Donald Morgan, A.S.C.
Music: Arturo Sandoval original music
Editor: Michael Brown
Producer: Celia D. Costas
Production: HBO Films
Cast: Andy Garcia, Mia Maestro, Gloria Estefan

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