Cuba’s Violin

A film by Maya Albanese

This film was screened as a part of the 2016 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF19)

This short film preceded the screening of the feature Vergüenza y respeto (Shame and Respect)



Cuba/USA, Music Documentary, 2015
18 min, Color
English, Spanish with English subtitles

Jose Osvaldo is a 16-year-old violin student at the top of his class at Amadeo Roldan, the oldest music conservatory in Havana. But Jose does not have his own violin and has little hope of owning one, because his family, like most in Cuba since the fall of the Soviet Union, does not have the resources to purchase string instruments, let alone keep them serviced regularly. This film is the story of how Jose’s life could be changed by one donation from New York City. And this one gift is representative of the consistent trail of instruments that has been traveling from the U.S. to Cuba despite more than a half century of embargo. Through the story of this violin, the wider issue of the cultural-economic paradox between the U.S. and Cuba is portrayed.

Austin Premiere

Print Source: Maya Albanese,