Michael Bergeron
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MFAH’s Latin Wave 12 Features New Rolling Stones Documentary

MFAH’s Latin Wave 12 Features New Rolling Stones Documentary
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Stronger than ever after a dozen years, Latin Wave presents four days of new films from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, as well as a UK doc that follows The Rolling Stones on their 2024 South and Central American tour.

Events and film kick off Thursday night with a happy hour from 5 to 8 pm at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Filmmakers in attendance include Cuban writer/director Carlos Lechuga, Dominican Republic auteur Yanillys Pérez, and Colombian director Iván Gaona. There’s also a “Meet the Filmmakers” luncheon Saturday morning from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at Under the Volcano (2349 Bissonnet).

The documentary The Rolling Stones Olé, Olé, Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America works its magic as a typical Rolling Stones flick and yet this particular film, which chronicles the Stones’ 2024 Latin American tour, is so atypical of their filmography. Mainly because the fans the ever-aging rock group are playing for were raised in societies where rock and roll was banned.

When you or I watched a Rolling Stones concert in the 20th century it was preceded by having heard “Satisfaction” hundreds of time on the radio. Does anybody remember the 1998 duo of shows the Stones did at the Summit where they had a runway that led to a very small stage in the middle of the floor where they played a handful of songs up close and personal during the middle of their set?

For the majority of concert-goers at the shows depicted in Olé 3, they never had the pleasure of being able to turn on the radio and hear “Sympathy for the Devil” much less any of the rocking songs that defined an era. One sequence in Brazil shows the band playing in the rain. Yet another shows how “Sympathy” sounds when performed as a samba.stonesq

Olé 3 captures the enthusiasm of diehard fans, some of whom were literally arrested for owning verboten albums, whose societal worldview has undergone perpetual revolution. More than one scene shows members of the Stones interacting with fans, themselves fellow artists.

The main part of the story concerns the tour’s last date in Havana, Cuba, a city the Stones had previously never played. Contracts have to be signed, equipment has to be shipped and local politics have to be negotiated. Even when their staff locks down a date they have to move the show five days later because the first date conflicts with a visit from President Obama (the first US Presidential visit in 80 years). Then the new date is on Good Friday and the Pope issues a statement that threatens negotiations with the government. “The Pope is not our tour manager,” quips Keith.

But all you really have to say is that Olé 3 has a complete version of “Country Honk,” sung backstage by Mick with Keith on acoustic guitar.

Visit the MFAH website for a complete list of films presented as part of Latin Wave 12. Many of these films will not get domestic distributors and this is the only chance to see them.

Latin Wave 12 unrolls at the MFAH from Thursday, April 27 through Sunday, April 30.