Pacencia y Fe, but we’re rising to new heights now and we’re not looking back.
In the Heights brings so much representation to the screen, but if we can have a real conversation, don’t make this movie our only reference point for latino representation, but a launch pad to spring us into a new era of latino content.
As with Hamilton, my wife has been a fan of In the Heights since the play came out, and was ecstatic when the movie was announced. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve seen In the Heights since it premiered.
Usnavi’s bodega is spot on, making me feel like I’m in my own neighborhood. We have those donuts on our table right now. We have Bustelo brewing. Just hearing them sing the phrase café con leche, reminds me of family.
Abuela represents many abuelas, the abuelas of every neighborhood.
I have a grandmother whom everyone calls Mom. I’ve met strangers who’ve had her cooking. She feeds everyone.
When, and yes spoilers ahead, when abuela passes away and they announce one of the causes being that she did not take her medicine, I can ’t tell you how fast we went to check on my grandmother to make sure she took her meds.
This movie covered a lot of ground, tapping many themes and subject matters.
Director Jon M Chu, director of Crazy Rich Asians, did a great job on hitting many of the right latino buttons.
Nina’s story is so familiar to many real life people I know in so many ways. The way the movie captured the community rooting for Nina to succeed in life, and the pressure Nina felt to meet those expectations whether if that was what she truly wanted or not. I’ve felt that, my wife has felt that, and so many more.
Nina goes into a story of how she went to an event while she was out in college and people mistook her for the help. How many times have we gone through similar situations? How many times are we looked over or undervalued?
Later at dinner, Nina tells the story of her roommate losing her pearl necklace, and Nina was searched. Where was the necklace? In the roommate’s bag. But too many times just being black or brown is enough evidence to be accused of a crime.
I loved all the bochinche with the salon girls (ahem…women). When I was younger, my mother used to bring me to the salon with her. The environment was just as it was in the movie, minus the choreography and singing.
If you pay close to what Daniela is telling her clients who say her knew location is too far, she speaks about how our people survived the Taino genocide, dictators, and conquistadors.
Daniela has to move her salon due to gentrification raising rent, forcing her to move. Another theme experienced over and over again in real life. I see it now in many neighborhoods here out in Philly. My hope is that we elevate with the community, rather than our people be pushed away.
The Carnival del barrio is my favorite sequence of the film. From Daniela asking, “what’s this tonteria?”, to so many flags being represented, for me this best shows what the movie is about. This is a celebration. Be proud of who we are and where we’re from.
Being Puerto Rican, I truly enjoy watching the boricuas dance Bomba, and every time the camera panned to another group we got to see another latino culture represented.
After the party (that was so hype it turned the electricity back on), we get to a scene of a protest/rally. They’re rallying for dreamers (illegal immigrants) in our country.
This is a whole other discussion we can have. Just real quick, is it only me or does anyone else feel weird when people talk about immigration like that’s not what this country is built on? How can we really tell people go back to their country when the “Founding Fathers” never went back to theirs?
One thing I can be proud of is Philly is a sanctuary city, safe for immigrants.
I really enjoyed the movie. It was fun. I was entertained. I have read that there were some people concerned with the lack of darker skin main characters. Like I said earlier, this isn’t the last latino movie. We’re just getting started.
Should we have gotten more darker toned characters to follow, yes. Is that enough to toss the movie as a loss, hell no.
This movie juggled a lot, and we need to take notice and be proud. This movie hit on topics like gentrification, family, community, hopes, dreams, dreamers, immigration. This isn’t a Puerto Rican movie, a Dominican movie, a Mexican movie, or Cuban movie. This is a latino movie, where so many got a shine, and yet still more need their moment.
This isn’t time to attack each other for any lack there of, but instead hear the call to action.
This is our time to create. Create more latino content. Let’s create that role for a dark skinned latino to star. When Lin Manuel Miranda created In the Heights, Usnavi was meant for him, he didn’t picture anyone else. But now look what we have.
If we’re discussing business, where there’s a need or market, that’s what you provide. If you see vacancy in latino content or representation, let’s discuss how we can fill that void.
I’ll keep saying this. This is just a stepping stone. We got the musical, now let’s get out of the neighborhood. Let’s get away from the latino gang member or side character or toss away character.
We need more latinos in sci-fi, latino horror movies, I want to see a dark skinned Dominican detective, a Puerto Rican as the main character in a fantasy movie, a Cuban as the lead in a TV series. One isn’t enough. I won’t accept any conversation of one examples.
In the Heights has shown a light to many more of our stories. Let’s create them.