Candido – Hands of Fire

Candido – Hands of Fire / 2006 MVD / 69 Minutes / / Reviewed 29 May 2006

I understand there are more nations in the world and more languages in the world than the United States and English, but one needs to know that “Hands of Fire” is done completely in Spanish. This DVD has subtitles, but if individuals get tired of reading, this DVD might be a little problematic. However, this DVD is important because it has a tremendous amount of first-person interview footage with Candido. There are breaks in this interview, but the vast majority of footage present during “Hands of Fire” is just of Candido, with pictures and footage playing behind and aside eir of the things that ey is talking about. What I find delightful is when there is actually English discussion, there are Spanish subtitles. This is a true bilingual DVD. While it is usually the English side of things that gets the shaft in the sense that they are put into the subtitles, there are always two languages being catered to on this DVD.

The only thing that can be construed as a weakness during this DVD is the short length of the programme; from beginning to ending, “Hands of Fire” is only 69 minutes. Compared to all of the other music DVDs (especially those that are more documentary than live footage), Candido and all of the other individuals interviewed seem to be much more down to earth and realistic. Everything is captured well on the disc, whether it is the interviews or the music present. This means that everything bursts almost as if individuals were down South listening to Candido speak and perform. In regards to the flow on the disc, the one thing that seems to break any momentum that “Hands of Fire” had is the full track of “Las Tres Congas”, a song that takes up over eight minutes of the film. When the rest of the footage has been a blend of music and discussion, this feels fundamentally different than the rest of the disc. Aside from the emotional content that comes with the “Hands of Fire” title, there is some fundamental and technical discussion of Candido’s style that occurs after “Las Tres Congas”.

This is not a discussion of how to play, but a description of Candido’s style that further explains the delightful sounds that issue forth from eir hands. Aside from the short length of the DVD, there are little if any flaws that individuals can find on the disc. This is a great disc for anyone that is into the jazz that Candido is a part of, or of living legends in particular. There is a discussion about the history and culture of Cuba, so the DVD is salient to individuals that are interested in those fields. For someone playing an interesting instrument an interesting way, this DVD might just be a necessary purchase. Here’s to hoping that MVD continues this series of DVDs to include other individuals that would not normally be given the time of day. Give this disc a shot and be amazed.

Rating: 6.2/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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