Check the directorial debut of Eric Eason in Manito. This 2002
Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize winner, rooted in the
Latino Diaspora, is the tale of two brothers who are trying to break
the cycle of drugs and violence in their family. Played by Franky
G., Junior Moreno, an ex-convict struggling to get his life back,
tries to prevent his little brother from becoming another casualty.
Leo Minaya plays his little brother Manito “Manny”, the salutatorian
of his high school class, who faces an ill-fated decision on the
night of his graduation.
Weather from the streets to the corporate boardroom, this multi-faceted
film will envelop all viewers into a rapidly changing Latino community.
Right from the beginning of the film, these two brothers bring you
into their family as a family friend. Shot in cinema verite, the
manner of the film is surprising, uncommon, yet inviting. It makes
the issues a reality, as if these are real people living real lives.
The most interesting scene of the movie is found at Manny’s graduation
party, where he is celebrated by all his family and friends. As
the salutatorian of his class Manny is the hope of both his family
and the neighborhood. The community comes together to commend his
One of the most powerful aspects of the film was the turnaround
of the film after the graduation party ended. About to go off to
college, Manito’s decisions dictated a lifestyle that he had steered
clear of his whole life.
Manito is a magnificent film that is expressive of the challenges,
struggles, and decisions facing both the African-American and the
Latino community. So, check your art-house listings for this film.
It’s one film you don’t want to miss.