Film Review: “The Florida Project”
This special movie handles complex social and economic realities with balance and subtlety. It is summer vacation for kids who live in a cheap hotel a few miles from Disney World. There is irony in the disparity of those two worlds that eventually suggests escape. Moonie, the 6 year old main character, leads her friends on many adventures that on the surface appear like kids being kids, but from another perspective, are the result of challenged parenting choices. As a CASA Advocate this is a familiar story but perhaps not so for other viewers.
Seeing Moonie beg for money, steal food, or lie about her actions were not viewed by this CASA as precocious actions of an innocent child, but lessons well learned from her mother as she, the mother, struggled to do whatever she had to do to pay the rent. It was hard to hear the audience laugh at begging, stealing or lying, without greater understanding that these behaviors occur in reality. As the two girls run toward Disney World, they are running away from their life of chaos and soon into the foster care system.