Analysis of The Florida Project

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The Florida Project

The Florida Project is a movie whose director is Sean Baker, and Chris Bergoch and Baker wrote its script. The film was released on 22nd May 2017 by Freestyle Picture Company. Baker, the director, and scriptwriter of the movie, critically look at the poverty life and use this film to portray the state of mind of the people living in poverty.\u00a0 The film portrays the mindset as a powerful determinant of social status and tries to prove that poverty starts in the mind and individuals with such mentality even when opportunities are provided to them they will still go back to poverty.<\/p>

Poverty in The Florida Project

In the film of The Florida Project, the theme of poverty is seen in the case of the single mother Halley who is stressed because she is at the verge of becoming homeless as a result of not being able to pay her rent. The children who despite being unable to go for a summer camp or play video games due to financial constraints that their parents face, they go ahead and enjoy their time after inventing an adventure for themselves where they romp through a condominium that is abandoned. Similarly, the viewers can realize that the most of the hotel customers are lacking the most basic human needs from the scenario where the manager of the hotel is contemplating using his money to put up houses for his suffering customer and at the same time achieve his American Dream.<\/p>

The Misery of Families in The Florida Project

The director used Halley and her daughter Moonie to show the misery families living under abject poverty goes through in their life. Halley can barely afford the basic needs ranging from meals to rent for her family. Moonie lacks proper child care, and she has to share everything good and bad with her mother as a means of survival. At some point, Halley admits that \u201cI failed as a mother, Moonee!\u201d (Baker). The film director uses Halley and other parents to show how poverty and inadequate childcare is influenced by the bad choices that parents make. Moonee, on the other hand, is a representative of those children who grow up experiencing deep poverty in the American society lacking most of the privileges their peers who come from prosperous and stable families enjoy. Such disadvantaged children have to learn how to survive as evident in the case of Moonie where she is inventing her games because she cannot play the games played by other children from well-off families.<\/p>

Poverty as a State of Mind in The Florida Project

The movie of The Florida Project proves the theory that state that poverty is a state of mind to be right. While the children from low-income families live in misery watching their parents commit crimes, use vulgar language and engage in violence, those from prosperous families are playing good games, learning piano and going on trips overseas during summer holidays. The difference in upbringing makes the kids from low-income families to grow up and lead a miserable life similar to that of their parents.\u00a0\u00a0<\/p>

In America

In America is a dramatic movie directed by Jim Sheridan and produced in 2002 by Hell's Kitchen Films. This work is a semi-autobiography of Jim Sheridan. The film revolves around the struggle the family of an Irish illegal immigrant goes through as they try to settle in New York City. Sheridan wants to use the film to bring out the concept of human development and socialization. The film is about four characters who are family members the father who is aspiring to be an actor, a mother who is a trained teacher but the situation has forced her to seek employment at an ice cream parlor and two daughters Christy and Ariel who are aged ten and six respectively.\u00a0 The family sneaks through the Canada- USA border to look for better opportunities in New York.<\/p>

Struggles of an Immigrant Family in In America

In New York City the family goes through a lot of difficulties because of financial constraints and the fact that they are illegal immigrants. Johnny and his wife cannot get formal employment in the new land because they are illegal immigrants and when they are unable to withstand the financial constraints they are facing they decide to sell the only valuable property at the moment, the family car. The film director chose to use Johnny's family to show how illegal immigrants who live their countries with the dream of finding lucrative opportunities end up languishing in poverty. Because of the hardship of life, the family encounters in America they find comfort from their neighbor Mateo who later became a good friend of Sarah and the girls. This friendship between Sarah and Mateo made Johnny suspicious, and at one point he went ahead to ask him, "Are you in love with my wife?" (Sheridan). Mateo, on the other hand, responded "I'm in love with you, and I'm in love with your beautiful woman, and I'm in love with your kids. And I'm even in love with your unborn child" (Sheridan). This response left Johnny with more questions than answers increasing his troubles. Johnny and Sarah despite having big dreams they end up landing on low paying jobs that could not enable them to lead a decent life. The family lived in a dilapidated apartment that looks dangerous, but despite all, they went through because of their financial status other pressing things to trouble them more than poverty. The death of their son Frankie and the immigration status were the only things that were troubling Johnny, and it seemed to them poverty was a non-issue.<\/p>

Smoke Signal

The movie of Smoke Signal was released in 1998 by Miramax. The director of the film is Chris Eyre, and its script was written by Sharman Alexie who was also a co-producer with Chris. The movie is about "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" a short story written by Sherman. The film is about two young boys called Victor and Thomas who are American natives, but the only thing they have in common is their history and Coeur d'Alene which is their place of birth. These two characters remain together despite having a rocky friendship.<\/p>

The Issue of Poverty in Smoke Signal

Sharman effectively brings out the issue of poverty in the film of Smoke Signal. The viewers of the film can realize that these characters are Native American of Indian origin and have to endure too much poverty in their everyday life. The theme of poverty can be seen in instances such as when Victor while in preparation to go and bring his dead father's remains home he is unable to raise enough money, and even after approaching the council they said they could only raise 100 dollars. The film director also used the type of food the characters consume and lifestyle they lead to depict their social status. The bread which is in most cases seen as food for the poor is the only food that the native feed on regularly.<\/p>

Innovative Solutions in Smoke Signal

Another instance is in the scene when on the way to the bus station two girls give Thomas and Victor a ride, but instead of driving their car forward they reversed it all the way to the bus station. This is probably because for poor people "Sometimes to go forward you have to drive in reverse" (Eyre). Critically analyzing this scenario, the viewers realize that the ladies had a problem with the transmission system of their car. However, instead of taking their car for repair which would cost them money, they decided to adopt another alternative that would see them save money and at the same time prolong the life of the car.<\/p>


The issue of poverty is essential to directors because they use it to show how social status affects individuals in the community. The movies show that Poverty in most cases is brought about by the wrong choices that individuals make in their lifetime, and this goes ahead to affect the children that come from such families. Children from these low-income families are adversely affected with the poor conditions they are exposed to, and if there is no intervention to save them from being influenced by this lifestyle, in the long run, the poverty will be passed on from one generation to the other. In both movies, the directors show that poverty can make individuals innovative because it forces them to look for alternatives to survive as seen in the film of the Smoke Signal in the case of car reversing and in The Florida Project where Moonie makes her games.<\/p>

Work Cited

Baker S. The Florida Project (film). Freestyle Picture Company. 2017.

Eyre C. The Smoke Signal (film). Miramax. 1998.

Sheridan J. In America (film). Hell’s Kitchen Films. 2002.

September 25, 2023




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