‘The Florida Project’ is a movie about life on the margins, through the eyes of children

JUDY WOODRUFF: And now a new independent film opening this weekend spotlights a community not often seen in cinema, and is racking up the accolades.

Jeffrey Brown has the story.

WILLEM DAFOE: OK, I warned you, one drip and you’re out.

BROOKLYN PRINCE, Actress, “Moonee”: Oh, come on!


ACTOR: It’s going to melt outside.

WILLEM DAFOE: It’s melting inside too.

JEFFREY BROWN: “The Florida Project” follows a rebellious little girl named Moonee and her friends over one mischief-making summer outside Orlando.

BROOKLYN PRINCE: These are the rooms we’re not supposed to go in, but let’s go anyways.

JEFFREY BROWN: But this is not the Orlando of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Instead, Moonee and her young single mother live in a run-down motel called The Magic Castle.

WILLEM DAFOE: It’s only the second week of summer, and there’s already been a dead fish in the pool.

BRIA VINAITE, Actress: I have failed as a mother, Moonee. You have disgraced me.

BROOKLYNN PRINCE: Yes, mom, you’re disgraced.

SEAN BAKER, Director/ Co-Writer, “The Florida Project”: I would say it’s like “The Little Rascals” 2017 in many ways.

JEFFREY BROWN: Independent filmmaker Sean Baker co-wrote and directed “The Florida Project”.

SEAN BAKER: But my whole career has been inspired and influenced by “The Little Rascals.” I think it’s because they used to play in syndication on local New York television, so I would come home from school and see these episodes, two or three after school every day. And they just stuck with me.

ACTRESS: Alfalfa, did you brush your teeth?

ACTOR: Yes, both of them.

JEFFREY BROWN: “The Little Rascals” was a series of shorts that first debuted in 1922 as part of the silent film era. In the ’50s, they were repackaged for television, following a band of children, Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat and others, always seeking out a new thrill and finding lots of trouble along the way.

SEAN BAKER: They were set against…

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