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Yet another American filmmaker inspired by the storytelling economy of Dogme 95, writer/director Eric Eason shot his feature debut, Manito, on digital video with a tiny budget and cast the film predominantly with first-time actors. Native New Yorker Eason's tale takes place in the Puerto Rican community of Washington Heights. Manny (Leo Minaya) is graduating high school near the top of his class and is headed to Syracuse University on a full scholarship. His family proudly organizes a massive graduation party, paid for by his older brother, Junior (Franky G.). Junior is a habitual… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film shows a capsule of American urban life where few outside the community venture in. Eason hands out an invitation to do so. Accept it willingly."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
"A remarkably assured feature debut, Eric Eason's raw, intimate movie deftly captures the kinetic energy of its Washington Heights setting."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"First-time director Eric Eason's assured debut feature is a gritty urban drama shot on a shaky handheld DV camera for $25,000."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A mangy little movie that winds up -- surprise! surprise! -- leaving you genuinely moved and sadly bewildered."
‑ Harry Haun, Film Journal International
"Manito packs a visceral punch; it grabs hold and doesn't let go."
‑ Arthur Lazere,
"Ragged but intense, this compassionate little movie is stocked with enough skillful touches and sensitive moments to stir interest in Eason's future work."
‑ Bob Campbell, Newark Star-Ledger
"What Manito delivers that its cable TV cousins rarely seem interested in exploring are the tiniest details of the real urban 'hood where its stories take place."
‑ Janice Page, Boston Globe
"The digital camera itself becomes a major character because it gives any director with unique connections access to previously unfilmable subjects"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"A compelling slice-of-life narrative that draws much of its strength from its non-professional actors."
‑ Erich Scholz, Citysearch
"Eason balances the clichés of a fairly standard story with convincing realism and a powerful momentum that never flags."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A low-budget wonder."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"Where do the actors come from, who can walk into their first picture and act with such effortless effect?"
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The movie barrels painfully through increasing misfortunes ... leaving filmgoers to walk out with the rawest of reactions."
‑ Alex Kranz, Premiere Magazine
"A solid, touching effort."
‑ , E! Online
More reviews for Manito on Rotten Tomatoes