That’s a beautiful take, Georgina, and you touch on several thematic dynamics interwoven in the script and movie. I especially like your metaphor: “magnifying glass over a section of life (in the motel) you would normally never notice.” When I saw Sean Baker at his DePaul Q&A, he specifically said, one of the things which appealed to him about the story from the get-go was the idea of exploring the lives of the “hidden homeless”. The fact the location of the motel is Orlando, home of Disneyworld, that contrast just made it that much more compelling as it highlights the growing income disparity in our country.
Another point you touch on is the innocence and even daily joy the children have in exploring the ‘wonders’ of their world. It’s one thing to explore a subculture like the ‘hidden homeless,’ but what elevates this story is that twist: the children actually have FUN while their families’ lives are in the balance. That facade, which of course they do not know they are doing, slowly comes falling down to reveal by the end the tragedy of cobbling together a life on the edge of poverty.
Thanks for that take, Georgina, and again for doing the scene-by-scene breakdown. So glad to be able to discuss this movie which, as I noted earlier, was my personal favorite in 2017.