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‘In the Heights’ Premiere Celebrates the Neighborhood That Started It All

  • June 10, 2021

“I want to see Lin,” she said. “We are so proud, this is progress for this community and for the city.”

Exuberant and critically adored, “In the Heights,” directed by Jon M. Chu, is a look at the shifts that happen between first- and second-generation immigrants. The elders hope to make it out of the neighborhood they left home for, while their younger counterparts plan to stay in the neighborhood they call home. It is a story that has occurred a million times over in the area and one that Hudes, who also lives there, encountered daily while filming.

“This isn’t about a hero or a protagonist, it’s about what happens when a community holds hands together and life kind of pushes those hands apart,” said Hudes, who wore large hoops and a flower-print jumpsuit. “It’s about these blocks and these living rooms where you go after school and do your homework or play bingo during a blackout, it’s all here.”

Washington Heights has been home to middle- and working-class Dominicans since the 1960s. In the 1980s, the neighborhood, like many others in the city, was flooded with cocaine and crack, making it unsafe for the community. Those days are past now and some residents say it’s time to move on from a narrative in countless movies and rap songs that no longer fits the neighborhood.

“I’m so proud of this movie,” said Sandra Marin Martinez, 67, a lifelong Washington Heights resident. “Who wouldn’t be? At least there’s no shooting.”

“Everything is dancing, these are my people, I grew up dancing here,” she added as she waited for a glimpse of the cast walking into the theater.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/10/movies/in-the-heights-premiere.html

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