‘In the Heights’ movie night showcases Latinx cultures


Iyanna Stanton

Students attended the “In the Heights” movie night Friday for Latino Heritage Month sponsered by LASO.

Katja Benz, Campus Reporter

The Latino Heritage Month events continued with a screening of the movie In The Heights Friday night.

The movie night was held in the Buzzard Auditorium, where dozens of Eastern students gathered to watch the movie while enjoying concessions.

The film is based on the 2005 musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has gained wide recognition for creating and starring in the Tony-winning musical Hamilton. 

In The Heights tells the story of the tight-knit Latino community living in the Washington Heights in the Manhattan borough of New York City.

The musical is set over the course of three hot summer days, focusing on a variety of characters and their dreams, struggles and identities. The musical explores several themes such as gentrification, immigration and the importance of having hope in times of adversity.

Kristin Routt, a Spanish professor, was sure that audience members would like the movie. Routt said the movie “paints a picture of the Puerto Rican and Dominican immigrant enclave in the Washington Heights in New York City.”

“Many people find the authenticity and positivity with which Miranda depicts the neighborhood exciting,” Routt said.

Christine Eldrenkamp, a sophomore political science major, attended the screening with a friend.

“I wanted to go see it with her and that’d be a great way to learn about a group of people I’m not as familiar with,” Eldrenkamp said. “I thought it was a really interesting movie to look in depth about different Latino experiences in the United States.”

Eldrenkamp also said that she liked how the movie showcased the power and optimism the Latino community has in times of difficulty.

“I think it showed that it’s very vibrant and they’re very optimistic,” Eldrenkamp said. “They make the best of all the suffering that their community has experienced and they are really big bringers of change.”

Aspen Johnson, a sophomore elementary education major, was also in attendance at the movie night.

“I think something that was really cool was that everybody was really close knit,” Johnson said. “Everybody knew each other, everybody was there to help each other and I think everybody takes that into their own lives.”

Johnson also liked how the movie teaches people about Latino culture and the importance of having a tight-knit community. Johnson said that “the movie is a good representation of what’s going on and could show the students how other people live their lives.”

“I thought it was a really cool movie because it incorporates a lot of cool information about Latino culture,” Johnson said. “There’s the one part where they have flags of different Latin American countries, so it just kind of brings it in.”

Routt said that she hopes participating in the Latino Heritage Month events these past few weeks has helped the Eastern community better understand Latino cultures.

“I hope in general that by participating in Latino Heritage Mont events on campus, students develop and nurture a connection with Latino and Latin American immigrant cultures,” Routt said.


Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]