"Habana Blues" is an awesome Cuban movie (2005, Benito Zambrano) that takes us on an adventure with a rock/blues band in the heart of Cuba.
The band wants to make it big, so when music producers from Spain express interest, the band is all in. However, as their time with the producers advances, the harsh and unjust demands of the music industry are not as glamorous as once imagined.
This movie is fantastic because it is entertaining and exciting (my students were on the edge of their seats the entire time!) but also brings to light many of the political and social issues in Cuba (poverty, political censorship, cultural boundaries, etc.) and its tumultuous relationship with Spain. Note: it is unrated but should be rated R for nudity and inappropriate language (a permission slip will be needed). I personally think the value of the movie outweighs the R rating.
This 10-page guide (in Spanish) is extensive and breaks the movie down into 9 parts. There are essential questions in Spanish for each part of the movie.
Also, while answering the questions and watching the film, students will be taking notes on the band's lyrics. The lyrics nicely align with the various aforementioned themes of the movie.
There is also an "after the movie"
section where students talk about what they would do if they were the characters (conditional tense).
This movie is ideal for a Spanish 3-5 class. An extensive project will follow soon!
Note: The movie can be easily purchased (with English subtitles) on Amazon:
Habana Blues - with English Subtitles
Watch its trailer here: Habana Blues - Movie Trailer
Check out my other movie activities below:
Instructions Not Included - Movie Activity
Una noche - Movie Guide