The Florida Project

The Florida Project ★★★★★

The Florida Project is not a story about blissful childhood ignorance. Children can recognize and understand so much more than adults give them credit for. Obviously Moonee doesn’t pick up on everything that her mother does to give them a home and a life together. But she can tell when something is wrong, when something is seriously wrong. She can tell that her life is different than the kids who vacation right next door to her home.

As a child, there was a lot that I recognized as painful for my parents without really understanding everything it meant for them, but I could feel their pain even then. I knew that staying at my grandparents house as often as I did wasn’t like “normal” families. I knew it wasn’t “normal” that both of them had multiple jobs instead of one. I knew when they fought even if I didn’t know why they were fighting. I remember seeing my father cry for the first time and realizing he was a person. I was four years old.

These stories are important to tell. This story of a six year old girl living in poverty is important and it’s real. This film really moves me, but it also doesn’t feel miserable throughout it. This is what makes it so strong in my opinion. These young girls live a difficult life, but that doesn’t mean it’s only full of hardships. They are real people with real laughter and love. They see the world in bright colors and sunlight. They know what they lack, but there’s nothing they can do about it so they just get by as best as they can. And it is sad sometimes. But they keep going.

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