Director Sean Baker hits never spoken about his filmhit The Florida Project. But the 46-year-old American does not mind that after a year of travel around the end of the tour was finally in sight. That he told at the Rotterdam film Festival where he is one of the hoofdgasten was. The Florida Project will run from this week in Dutch cinemas.
“It is quite inspiring,” he explains. “You talk with people, with journalists. You do ideas for next projects, you hear stories that you remember and where there may be ever a new film from growing. And you know what you’re doing. It gives a kick to all continents of positive feedback received.”
His film tells about the 6-year-old Monroe, who, with her 21-year-old mother Halley in a dingy motel in the shadow of Disneyworld Florida lives. “There are in the U.S., far too many women who have such a relatively hopeless life,” says Baker. “But it’s certainly not only in America, a big problem. This kind of people who, in spite of all our prosperity must struggle to survive you find everywhere: in Poland, in England and in the Netherlands.”
Baker wrote his screenplay after many conversations with women in similar situations. “The people were very open, they were very happy that someone attention to their stories wanted to spend,” he says. “In the media is always about the politicians who quarrel, and about the great men of the earth. This underlay feels ignored and invisible. I hope these people with the film, a voice can give.”
The director acknowledges that his film, the difference is not going to make in their lives. “But the movie might be able to contribute to the elimination of the stigma’s about this group of homeless people. Hopefully people feel after seeing empathy for these people. It might be that a journalist decides to be an article to them to devote to it. All those little signals can help their desperate situation higher on the political agenda.”
The problem is due not only to president Donald Trump, though there will be during his term, certainly not a solution, treasure Baker. “The recession has on the ordinary Americans huge hacked. This issue is the last ten years has only become bigger and bigger. And also Obama has no real solutions can bring.” At the local level, there is a lot of good work has been done, insists the filmmaker. “Many philanthropists put money in aid, many municipalities do really their best. But for a structural solution, the federal government will hard to make.”
The film won dozens of awards, but stood at the Oscarnominaties almost with empty hands. Only Willem Dafoe was nominated, for his supporting role as the caretaker Bobby. “For my career, it makes no difference,” laughs Baker. “But a stage like the Oscaruitreiking had more attention for these women can ask. Maybe Willem, he will in his speech be sure to talk about.”