Esteban faces multiple obstacles that might prevent him from achieving his goal: (1) the piano teacher is a curmudgeon who says that a boy like Esteban would play one of his pianos over his dead body, and he threatens to call the police when the boy actually does play a few notes; (2) Esteban's father is not willing to pay for the lessons, and tells his son to study the maracas, which is much cheaper; (3) Esteban's mother discovers the lengths to which her son will go to learn to play when she finds that he has obtained money to pay for his first lesson sneakily, if not dishonestly. If only she hadn't spent money to buy him new shoes, he would not have had to resort to such methods, he says, under his breath. You can find a link to the text of the trailer here, and a handout with comprehension questions and conversation starters here (in progress).
The two-minute trailer has lots of themes for class discussion, although, with its Cuban Spanish, it might merit several showings to be sure students understand the dialogue. A fantastic bonus in the YouTube version of the trailer is the comments section, where there is a post about piano lessons being free in Cuba, thus making the movie's premise unrealistic. Other users chime in, pointing out that this is the case only for the elite, and that not everyone has this free access. This would make a wonderful jumping off point for further research and discussion about equality and equity in all cultures, including our own.
The movie itself is not available on DVD or Blue-ray, but will certainly be added to my library as soon as it comes out. It is currently on HBO and Cinemax.
Comment below how you use this trailer in class!