"Project Florida": a Film by Sean Baker about the difficult childhood and the escape from reality

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In the Russian hire leaves "Project Florida" — one of the best films of 2017, the new Director Sean Baker, the author of the acclaimed drama about the Los Angeles transgender people "Mandarin". Tell me why this movie is worth it to go to the movies.

"Magic castle" — an old roadside Motel, located in the vicinity of Disneyland Florida, where in tiny rooms settle for an indefinite period, families who have no possibility to remove something else. But for the youngest guests of this building, with its walls incredible purple and secluded turquoise swimming pool, the most that neither is a magic castle, a giant Playground and the starting point for the daily quest.

The main character, a six-year Muni (Brooklyn Prince) every day leaves room to play, to play pranks and enjoy the summer sun in the company of friends living in the neighborhood. Her mother, a young razdolbayka Haley (Bria Finite), meanwhile, barely making ends meet by reselling perfume with hands on the streets, to collect rent, food and weed.

Left to themselves, children running between the colored motels and supermarkets, and their antics are becoming less innocent. Spat the car "novices", to beg from strangers the money for ice cream or to start a fire in an abandoned house — a thirst for life and a feeling of total freedom pushing the company little hooligans every day to look for new fun and break even more rules. And all this while their parents are in any way trying to stay afloat.

We can observe the inner life of the most unprotected strata of the American population, hidden behind the doors of cramped rooms motels

This complex and full of life small world of trying to resolve the Manager of the Motel, Bobby (wonderful performance of Willem Dafoe). Trying to keep the fragile construction of "Magic castle", where coexist all and all, it relies on a clever combination of strict rules and possibility to violate them. Threatened with eviction, still patiently waiting for overdue payments, looking after children and trying to provide the guests with the hope for a happy life.

Sean Baker, along with the operator Alexis Zab captured on 35mm film a difficult life in the gloomy backyard of Disneyland, passing through the colored filters of children's perception. The world of Muni and her friends full of magic and bright colors. They do not understand why when the taxi driver delivered by mistake a couple of newlyweds in their "Magic castle", the bride catches the tears she sees a completely different, repulsive reality that you do not notice children. Their imagination turns the surroundings of the old Motel into their own Disneyland, a room of distorting mirrors, where you can endlessly play hide-and-seek, hiding from adversity and fears. Following the characters in the fictional amusement Park, we can observe the inner life of the most unprotected strata of the American population, hidden behind the doors of cramped rooms motels. Shawn Baker had invited the viewer into a similar journey in "Mandarin" and probably will show us many more communities, about the problems which society knows little or prefers not to talk.

The cast of "Project Florida" deserves special mention. Once again Baker successfully brings together professionals and beginners, found almost by accident. Despite the fact that all the major nominations the film got in the first place, to Willem Dafoe, the acting Duo Finite — Prince from the first minute of the movie captivates with spontaneity and sincerity. For a short time after the premiere in Cannes Brooklyn Prince has already become a General favorite, and to the role of Muni award Critics’ Choice Movie Awards for best young actor. And Bria Finite to the project and not think about the acting profession (Director found her by chance via instagram), shocked many critics and viewers how it fits in the role of Haley, she suffered a serious career prospects.

This is a worrying walk in unfamiliar places and at the same time refreshing, like a leap in the pool on a summer day, dip in early childhood

To work on the role of Willem Dafoe shortly before filming he settled in the Motel "Magic castle" and watched the daily work of the General Manager. In Bobby, he reveals a complex image of the universal in its imperfect shape of the father, with the constant burden of responsibility for the fate of others, the duty to control the uncontrollable, which was trying to establish a relationship with yourself.

"Project Florida" is a disturbing walk in unfamiliar places and at the same time refreshing, like jumping into a pool on a summer day, dip in early childhood, when sorrows, sad everyday life and fears consciousness displaces, but the memory is still just fantasy, miracles and heaps of little joys. When your house turns into a castle of purple, a rainbow in the sky — the best surprise gift for girlfriend and white bread with strawberry jam seems to be the most delicious light dessert.

Adult conversations about the eviction, problems with money and work passing by the little heroes background noise mixed with the voices from the TV and the iPad. For Muni Haley is the best mom in the world: it is possible eat pizza, lying in bed, spending hours in the bathroom, drink as many sodas together to dance to the music from your phone and grimace for a selfie. Sitting in your favorite bath tub, playing with dolls and listening to music, Muni does not notice how her mother engaged in sex work. Both mother and daughter are more like two little sisters, left for the weekend without parental care, living in the moment, enjoy the little joys and care about each other as they can.

How would Haley and Muni would like to remain forever in this endless summer, in the final, they still have to look into the eyes of inevitable and cruel reality. But when the last hope slipping away, Sean Baker Muni gives little opportunity to escape into the world of dreams. Suddenly replaced film shot with a shaky camera of the iPhone captures lost roughly the fabulous local scenery and rushing after best friends, running away from all the troubles in the real castle of Disneyland — a place ruled by dreams, miracles and happy ends.