Some of Cuba's best musicians can't afford instruments—this film shows why
Music is a universal language. Shouldn't it be universally accessible?
Like a lot of kids, I grew up playing musical instruments. I started off on the violin, then spent two misguided years making dying-cow sounds with a trombone before discovering my true love: the cello.
Suffice it to say, music has a lot to do with who I am today. I'm lucky my parents had the money to fund my musical interests (and the patience to survive the trombone years—seriously, I was pretty awful).
The thing is, kids in a lot of places aren't so lucky.
Case in point: Cuba, where systemic poverty and a US trade embargo have prevented some of the country's most promising young musicians from owning an instrument and pursuing their dreams.
That's where "Cuba's Violin" comes in. This new documentary from filmmakers Maya Albanese and Antoine Goldet tells the story of how determined Cuban musicians are overcoming those boundaries with the help of donors from the US.
I sat down with Maya to talk about her new film, the importance of music education, and what it was like to make a film in Cuba at around the same time that the US and Cuba were restoring diplomatic relations.
Maya had a lot of great things to say. Here's a sneak peek at my favorite line: