Ruben Blades proves fascinating documentary subject to both audience old, young


Ruben Blades, referred to as The Master, believes in the Panamanian cinema and the potential it has in this field. Blades has the opinion of expanding the Panamanian education coursework by including film so more people get to learn more about the beauty of film.

The film “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name,” features the Panamanian musician, actor, and politician, who tells his story and how it has evolved since his father taught him how to do hand drumming also known as the “Baqueteo.” He goes on talking about his life and belief that he was going to die young. As of today, he has over two hundred songs written up. Blades mentions he was going to die young because his will is already established in Panamanian culture, and his songs are a part of that legacy that eventually he will leave everyone who listens to his music.

The Master explains that most of his songs are written when something bothers him. In the film he refers to Donald Trump and, in the background, you can hear the words of one of his songs and plays: “Tiburon que va acechando” which means “shark looking for its prey.” It is quite interesting how this musician can tell stories and speak the truth so well in his songs.

In the film we can see that other famous musicians such as René Pérez from Residente Calle 13 recount that they grew up listening to Blades’ music. “It’s intelligent, tells you stories and it’s accessible for everyone,” says Pérez.

Blades’ music has inspired Residente to become who they are today. Pérez, Paul Simon, Sting, are asked about their opinions of Blades legacy. They all believe that Blades music is inspiring, tells the truth and at the same time it gets to people’s heart causing a huge impact on anyone that knows him or has heard something from him.

The film is more of a documentary of Blades’ life which makes it more emotional since you get to see real life interviews and not scripted scenes. People from all over the world attended. Even people from Panama came over to attend the premier, including The Master. The atmosphere was very interactive and emotional about the film. As mentioned before, not only his music but also himself “gets to people’s heart causing a huge impact on the people who know him and on those who do not know him but have heard of him too.”

As I got the chance after the premier ended, I talked to Steven Joseph, a Panamanian reporter and he told me that this was something wonderful and that he was honored to have had the chance to cover this significant event for the Panama National TV. He also said that he got to closely meet The Master and that as it is said in the film he is just someone who will cause a positive impact in your life if you meet him.