In The Heights celebrates first gen Americans

My movie review of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s movie version of In The Heights is live on the Independent Institute blog The Beacon. In sum:

Miranda’s newest cinematic addition to pop American pop culture draws on his own experiences growing up in the Washington Heights neighborhood of upper Manhattan. Directed by John Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), perhaps no other recent movie may do more to capture the complexities, spirit, challenges, and aspirations of first-generation Latino Americans. In The Heights puts an often deceptively joyous musical gloss on heartfelt stories of transitions, identity, acceptance, and intolerance.

The lens focuses on young Hispanics growing up and aging out of the heavily Dominican and Latino neighborhoods. Miranda (and co-writer Quiara Alegria Hudes) do not shy away from obstacles, doubts, or disappointments. Nevertheless, the movie’s themes hold fast to the hopes of what American is and can aspire to be.

Author: SR Staley
SR Staley has one more than 11 literary awards for his fiction and nonfiction writing. He is on the full-time faculty of the College and Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University as well as a film critic and research fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California. His award-winning Pirate of Panther Bay series ( has won awards in historical fiction, mainstream & literary fiction, young adult fiction, and reached the finals in women's fiction. His most recent book is "The Beatles and Economics: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and the Making of a Cultural Revolution" due out in April 2020 (Routledge).