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In the Heights


A poster for the film In the Heights with the lead actors
In the Heights film poster

This is not your typical recommendation, as most of this film is in English. However, it addresses Latinos in the USA and very important related topics such as immigration, inequity, and ill-conceived stereotypes.

Originally a musical written by the famous Lin Manuel Miranda, we learn about the daily struggles it is to be an immigrant in Washington Heights in NY. The story follows several characters such as Usnavi, Vanessa, Nina, Benny, and many more during one hot summer. The block that was once run by Latinos starts to disintegrate as gentrification slowly starts to seep in. Will the Latino businesses survive? It certainly is another obstacle that stands in their way. This film addresses that, with the underlying theme of “sueñitos”, which in English means “little dreams”. Throughout the film, we see these characters try to accomplish their dreams and unite together while doing so. Although many of them are not blood-related, they seem like the perfect family. I remember after first watching the show I felt a longing to be a part of such a tight-knit community as the one Lin Manuel painted in this beautiful show.

This is a musical turned into a movie, so if you’re not a fan of musicals, then you might not love this film. However, the music is so beautiful, with a mix of rap, ballads, and Caribbean rhythms that there is something for everyone! There were a couple songs that were cut, unfortunately, and the order is not necessarily the same as in the Broadway show. At first, I was not a fan of that but once I saw it again, I understood the change. The added special effects and the choreography were a nice touch. If you love the musical, then check out this movie if you haven’t already! You won’t regret it. ☺️


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